Keeping aesthetics of Durga pooja alive

Keeping aesthetics of Durga pooja alive

One need not travel all the way to West Bengal to witness the grand Durga pooja festival. Thanks to the Bengali community in Mangalore, Durga pooja celebrations will kick off in true Bengali style from October 20.

For Madhusudan Pal, a sculptor from West Bengal this Durga pooja will be his 15th visit to the coastal city.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Pal said that a Bengali Engineer based in Mangalore invited him to the city 15 years ago to sculpt the idol of Mahishasuramardini, to be used in Durga pooja celebrations.

After that, Pal has been visiting Mangalore every year for two months to sculpt the idols to be used in the pooja.

“I prepare more than 80 idols in two months. I have made many friends in Karnataka who place orders for these idols. I sculpt the idols of Mahisasuramardini, Lakshmi, Sarawati, Ganesha, Kartikeyan, Kali which will be used in the pooja.

I visit different places in the state to sculpt idols. Recently, I along with my two assistants visited Shimoga to sculpt idols,” he said.

Pal has been sculpting idols for the last 29 years.

“This has been my family business. My grandfather and great grandfather were very good sculptors. I was always interested in sculpting. I never went to a formal art school. Whatever I sculpt is by experience,” he said.

With modernisation and education, the number of sculptors are reducing. “I have a good business, but I can not fetch huge profits,” he said.

The Bengali community puts in all effort to give Mangaloreans a true slice of Bengali culture. All are invited for the pooja.

They invite the pandit and dholiwalas from Bengal. They spend a lot to keep up the aesthetics, he added.

The Durga pooja celebrations will be held at the Hindi Prachar Sangh in Mangalore. Over 500 people belonging to Bengali community are expected to participate.

Durga pooja marks the victory of goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.

 The dates of the pooja are set accordinFg to the traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding to the festival called 'Devi Paksha' (Fortnight of the Goddess).

After the pooja, the idols are immersed. In Mangalore, the Durga statue will be immersed at Sulthan Battery.

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