It’s the season of fall with its cottony blue sky and kash phool everywhere; it is also the harbinger of Durga Puja, the biggest festival celebrated worldwide.
It celebrates the journey of the Mother goddess from Mount Kailash to the earth- the home of her parents.
Durga Puja is not only a festival but also a celebratory worship of the Mother Goddess, which is one of the most awaited festivals of Bengal. It is an occasion for reunion with friends and family, of revitalization of your soul and also a celebration of performing traditional customs.
The rituals involve ten days of fasting, feast and worship, but the last four days i.e., Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami are celebrated with much more enthusiasm and grandeur.
The ten armed goddess riding the lion is worshipped with passion and devotion.
But before all this the making of idols plays a major role which involves hard work and dedication of many potters for months. The city is also known as a hot spot for the making of clay idols. Kumurtuli, located in the northern part of Kolkata, is a prominent hub for idol making.
Following the victory of the British East India Company in the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the Company decided to build new settlement Fort William at the site of the Gobindapur village. Holwell, under orders from the Directors of the British East India Company, allotted ‘separate districts to the Company’s workmen.’
These neighbourhoods in the heart of the Indian quarters acquired the work-related names – Suriparah (the place of wine sellers), Collotollah (the place of oil men), Chuttarparah (the place of carpenters), Aheeritollah (cowherd’s quarters), COOMARTULLY (potters’ quarters) and so on. Hence Kumartuli came into existence.
The city’s sculpting hot-spot which not only makes clay idols for various festivals but also exports them outside the country all throughout the year.
Uncommon photographer Debarchan Chatterjee brings us such a glimpse of the preparatory scenes directly from the streets of Kolkata. And The Uncommon Box is yet again delighted to focus on the innovative process of idol making, captured in an awe-inspiring way by the photographer.
Thought behind this Photo series:-
Debarchan names his photo series ** Colours of Kumartuli **
Frame #1: There’s a goddess in every girl.
Frame #2: A mother makes her way among the narrow alleys of Kumartuli as another mother prepares for the upcoming festival.
Frame #3: A typical interior of an idol maker’s hub. They eat, sleep, and dream their craft.
Frame #4: The night offers a beautiful play of colours and shadows among the alleys of Kumartuli.
Frame #5: A lady waits to go on with her daily chores as an idol gets prepared for the festive season.
Frame #6: A conversation between a grandfather and a granddaughter of an artisan while another works through the night to complete his creation for the festival.
Kumortuli has always been an intriguing location for every budding photographer in and around Kolkata. In a way it became an unofficial Mecca of Kolkata photography. Every young photographer starts their journey from here. So did I.
Frame #7: Rains bring a different nostalgia of colours to this place.
I still remember my first photograph (which I lost due to a computer crash) which I took on a small digital camera was from this place.
Frame #8: Mothers
Kumartuli is like a meditation hub for me when it comes to photography.
Whenever I feel demotivated or need an inspiration, it’s my first choice of place to visit. There’s not been a single day that Kumartuli has disappointed me in inspiring with amazing frames.
Frame #9: Alleys of Kumartuli
Frame #10: Rain drenched alley of Kumartuli
So with this thought I wanted to give something back to this place by documenting everything beyond the clichés of idols and clays. I wanted to photograph the beautiful environment and moments that this place offers to every photographer anytime of the year.
Frame #11: Beautiful colours etched in the rains of Kolkata as a potter’s son makes his way to school as the idol covers herself up during monsoon.
This album contains my documentation of this vision that I have been working for 2 years now. 12 of my favourite moments of Kumartuli out of 146 pictures that have been gifted to me by this place. This is my Colours of Kumartuli.
Frame #12: Sometime the cute and cuddly of Kumartuli poses for a photo.
These pictures have a clear connection with our daily life. We closely relate to each and every frame taken by the photographer and appreciate the beauty of simplicity in them. This stupendous effort of Debarchan has brought to the forefront the way Durga Puja is so essential in every Bengali’s life.The Uncommon Box appreciates his efforts for bringing such a beautiful concept before us and we also wish him his very best for his future endeavours.
About the photographer:
Debarchan Chatterjee, a street and a documentary photographer based in Kolkata, who loves to shoot every aspect of his beautiful city. He likes to capture places and moments that many are unaware of his city. He is currently working as a freelance photographer and pursuing his higher studies.
You can also follow him at various social media:
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