Gleefully at Work

The title of the blog, that too on a Monday might sound too good to be true, but, not for Proloy. He will arrive at his usual workplace right on time; set up his stall and get to greeting and dealing with customers, all with a sense of joy and pride.

At one of Kolkata’s more than 60 years old market, Proloy owns a stall from where he sells traditional Terracota souvenirs, jewellery, showpieces, wall-hangings and more.

Hawkers of Kolkata, Gariahat Market
Window to Kolkata’s Culture

Resplendent with varieties of art-pieces that are sourced from Krishnanagar and other such townships, his tiny stall is a window to Kolkata’s culture. You can expect to find varieties of brightly coloured artifacts depicting Durga Maa, Ganeshji, Shiv Ji, Radha Krishna and more. His shop had Gods and Goddesses’ figurines for the followers of various religions. From an idol of Jesus Christ to that of Sai Baba, you could find it here!

The burst of colours and the skill at display kept my camera quite busy! A kaleidoscope of fine art and sheer talent, the shop had my heart!

As I waited for Proloy to get free from his stream of customers, the wares on display enticed me to click pictures from different angles.

Bengal's Art - Terracota Wall Hanging
Colourful Terracota Wall Hanging

Finally after 30 minutes, I could procure a brief window of 10 mins to speak with him.

Proloy has been selling beautiful art-pieces since 2014. Earlier than this venture, he used to sell plastic toys off the same place. Making a shift to the field of earthen art-pieces and jewellery has been life-changing for him. He enjoys the work immensely and loves to interact with customers who come to him not only from Kolkata but also Mumbai and Chennai.

The story of his trade’s origin is rather interesting! Years ago, Proloy’s father had prophecised that work of clay and m-seal is in his destiny. As per his destiny, he was bound to flourish in this trade and as we can see it has been a reality! I wonder if positive predictions can propel us to even achieve the toughest of dreams.

Can we then call prophecies a blessing in disguise?

Owing to the upcoming festival of Poila Baisakh, (Bengali New Year) he did not have enough bandwidth to speak with me in details, but promised to share anecdotes from his life after the festival.

Gariahat Market, Kolkata Hawkers
Wall hanging made on Kulo depicting Durga Maa

Sweating under the heat of the light, exhausted with the day’s demands, sipping tea from a plastic cup, he looked happily tired; almost saying ‘another day well-lived!’

Kolkata Hawker Market, Kolkata, Bengal's Culture
Proloy, busy at work!

Do visit his shop at Gariahat, if you happen to come to Kolkata. You can be sure of finding souvenirs here that your near and dear ones will love!

Also, before I forget, his wares are also often sold at exhibitions and malls at a much more inflated price!

Come and feast your eyes upon the artwork that speaks volumes about the artisans of Kolkata, procured right from the roots!

Kolkata Hawker Market, Gariahat, Bengal's Culture
All the beautiful artifacts on display!

9 thoughts on “Gleefully at Work

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  1. A vibrant blog as much as its theme. We enjoyed reading about Proloy’s shops and seeing his terracotta and clay wares through your lens. These well-taken photos not only add colour but enhance the story so very much. As much as we wanted to know more about Proloy, we are happy that at the turn of the Bengali New Year, he is doing brisk business. Thank you for another story adding variety to your Kolkata hawker series.

    Liked by 1 person

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