In a remarkable twist on traditional Durga Puja themes, Baguiati's United Club is set to unveil their 70th-anniversary celebration, titled 'Aparajit,' which promises a meaningful departure from the usual festive fervor. This year, their puja pandal brings new life to a fading art form in rural Bengal: jute weaving, along with an eco-conscious message.
Once, jute weaving was a prevalent craft used to create various items. However, the winds of modernity brought a decline to this traditional craft, leaving many jute mills abandoned. Inspired by a desire to revive this craft, artist Sandip Mukherjee has breathed fresh life into the dying art form by using jute in constructing the entire Durga Puja pandal at Railpukur.
In addition to preserving the art of jute weaving, the theme emphasises environmental awareness. It carries the message that by using jute, a sustainable and eco-friendly material, a pollution-free society can be built. A significant portion of the pandal's structure is made from jute, conveying the importance of eco-consciousness.
The highlight of this year's Durga Puja theme is the innovative use of various parts of plants to create the mother goddess's idol. A unique vision comes to life as the entire idol, estimated to weigh around 500 kilogrammes, is constructed using parts like the bark and leaves of trees. This novel approach sends a strong message of respect for nature.
From the bark of the tree to the sandalwood paste, no artificial colours have been used in the construction of the idol. Everything, from the saree to the jewellery, is derived from the various components of plants. This distinctive approach truly showcases a blend of tradition and nature.
The idol for this puja is crafted by artist Utpal Ghosh, who has also arranged a special competition for applying a unique vermillion sindoor to the goddess's forehead as part of the 'Chokkhudan' ceremony.
In addition to its artistic appeal, this puja holds a strong social message. By giving the visually impaired an opportunity to participate in the 'Chokkhudan' ceremony, it aims to enhance the experience of Durga Puja, not just for the general public but also for the visually impaired. The Puja organisers hope to make this innovative initiative a resounding success.
This Puja season, as the city prepares to witness grand festivities, the Baguiati United Club's unique theme stands out as a symbol of environmental awareness, tradition revival, and inclusivity. It's an invitation to delve into the heart of Baguiati's Puja pandal and experience the fusion of art, tradition, and nature like never before.