Have you noticed how the aesthetics of a home speak volumes about a culture and the heritage of a region? Homes earlier had a distinct flavour that would immediately give a cue on who could it belong to. For instance, presence of a ‘jhoola’ with bright mirrored cushions and a traditional, handmade carpet with Kutch embroidery would make it an easy guess that the home quite possibly belongs to a Gujarati. If you would’ve noticed, in a typical Parsi home one would often find the floors patterned with different types of designs. A traditional Bengali home is where you’d get a vibe of ‘simple living, high thinking’ and has a generous replete with fine art and dedicated corner for books.
Suruchi Sangha’s theme this year is a blend of the warmth that families share during Pujas and about inclusivity. The theme is Utsab – Utsab Tomar Amar, Shobar, Utsob Garbo Bangla (Festival: Your and ours festival, a festival for everyone, a festival that is Bengal’s pride)
Take a look at Chetla’s Durga Puja in this captivating photo journal
Combination of all the different elements goes on to present a culture in its most authentic form. Suruchi Sangha’s pandal this year aims to depict the ancient Rajbaris and as always, a fantastic pandal attracts eyeballs from far and wide. The creators have kept in mind smallest of details such as wall textures, choice of music, materials and the lighting. We chose to visit the pandal on Panchami and the crowd was beginning to increase.
As we approached the pandal, a gigantic Cloud-like structure, right above us, first caught our eyes. Right next to the entrance, on the opposite pavement was a makeshift stall showcasing the awards and accolades in neat rows. This year also, the Pujo has won three awards already. Since the past 66 years, Suruchi Sangha has been winning numerous awards but the greatest satisfaction comes from visitor’s being impressed with the concept and its execution.
The Cloud-like structure served as the roof for the entire pandal and gave the entire pandal, quite a unique look. What is worth noticing is that, this pandal has no separate exterior. It’s overall an open pandal.
The interiors depict a Zamindar Rajbari. Bamboo, cement and steel are few of the key materials used to build this pandal. A framework made using bamboo poles form the alley that leads to the main arena.
As we move further ahead towards Maa Durga’s idol, installation of green windows on a wall in front of us catches the attention. On the right side of the wall is the beautiful cloth fan that is drawing a lot of attention.
A little ahead we go and Maa Durga’s idol is now in front of us. Bijay Singh Baid, General Secretary of Suruchi Sangha tells us, “Earlier Pujas would happen only at baris, and that has changed over time. With this year’s pandal, we intend to depict the Rajbaris” Quite true the statement, being at Suruchi Sangha feels like being at home. The décor exudes warmth and the walls seem to narrate many stories about moments that a family shares and about how it comes together to celebrate a grand occasion. You must take a look at the theme song of the year to experience the joy. The lyrics are penned by Smt. Mamata Banerjee and the singer is none other than, the enigma – Shreya Ghoshal, music composition by Jeet Ganguly and beautiful Nusrat Jahan adds on to the charm of the song. Watch here.
After getting some beautiful pictures of Maa Durga’S idol, we moved towards the other end where a beautiful wall painting of Maa Durga was making the visitors go ‘wow’ and a lot of selfies were being clicked. We also joined in. The painting indeed was awe-inspiring, every stroke speaking about the love the painter had for the subject of the painting. Know what Durga Puja means for the citizens of Kolkata here.
The subtle shades, installation of old furniture, the verandah and the windows – all gave us the real feel of spending some time in a Bengali bari.
The Cloud was to depict the departure of monsoons. More than 50 – 60 artisans work on the Pujo pandal and the idol is also created in-house. The entire concept is planned and executed by Swarup Biswas – Minister of West Bengal. Every year the team tries to present a novel concept. The shilpi for this year’s Pujo is Bhagwatesh. Earlier this week, I was also amazed by the remarkable idol at Tridhara.
The primary material used to create the pandal is cement, bamboo clay and plastic. To realize the crowd, it is during saptami or ashtami should visit – more than 5 to 6 lakh people visit to witness the creativity in play.
Suruchi Sangha has been actively running many campaigns for social welfare and education upliftment and has been able to establish an enviable record. Some of the activities that are undertaken are – to provide books for the poor children, helping five poor girls every year to get them married etc.
Know more and get in touch with the team – http://www.suruchisangha.com/