Millennium Post

Hatibagan pujas look to steal limelight from southern counterparts

Kolkata: A part of North Kolkata spanning not more than one kilometer will be pandal hoppers' delight with four big pujas all situated along the stretch. Apart from the four pujas the two wards 11 and 17 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), the Hatibagan area hosts as many as 36 pujas.
The Kashi Bose Lane, Hatibagan Sarbojonin, Nalin Sarkar Street and Sikdar Bagan are all churning out unique themes through their pujas.
The Kashi Bose Lane has decked up its pandal with musical instruments of old days to the modern ones. Gramophones, radios, tape recorders through which music is played is also a part of the mandap's decoration. The idols have also been made in a way that goes with the theme of the pandal.
The Hatibagan Sarbojonin Puja depicting the theme Flight of Birds (Pakhir Uran) has brought in models of wooden birds from Banaras. "The wooden birds that are made in Banaras is now a lost art. It is our effort to revive the art and at the same time highlight that a bird is at its best when it's free rather than in captivity," a puja organiser of Hatibagan said.
The Nalin Sarkar Street is projecting itself as a disabled friendly puja with wheelchairs and Braille facilities for identifying the theme. A good number of post cards with appeals from the disabled to Devi Durga that they also want to be a part of the happiness of the puja, is an intergral part of the pandal decoration.
The Durga idol here has two hands to deliver the message that the Devi is present in every household in the form of a woman. The Sikdar Bagan puja committee is churning out the creation of the earth (Sristi) through its theme this year, delineating the change that the world has undergone along with the changing times.
All the puja committees in these two wards observe the pujas keeping with the tradition associated with the North Kolkata pujas. Two Cabinet ministers- Consumer Affairs minister Sadhan Pande and Women & Child Development minister Shashi Panja are very much involved with the pujas in these two wards.
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