High point of evil

High point of evil

Spotting the difference between a Ravan, a Kumbhakaran and a Meghanath is a task in Titarpur- a village absorbed in the art of making effigies for Dussehra since generations. Ask an effigy-maker around, he takes a moment and nonchalantly puts it this way, “Eventually the tallest amongst the three ends up being Ravan in the Dussehra ground.”

With effigies lying in every possible corner- be it the pavement, shed under the Tagore Garden metro station, divider amidst the roads - everybody seems to be engrossed in designing an effigy.

Rajender, an effigy maker, points towards the effigies kept for drying in the middle of the main road, “It rained once last week. Once we paint the effigies, I hope it doesn’t happen again. We work day and night for two months to make these effigies. I have 35 people working under me to create atleast 50 effigies this season. I source them from UP, specially Moradabad, after getting bookings for effigies atleast two months in advance.”  

With effigies sprawled all across in the open, we could hardly spot a shed around.

Rajender has been involved in this trade for 40 years of his life. Taking a guess, he says, “Approximately, this season Titarpur will make around 1,000 effigies that will be sent out for Dussehra everywhere. For making a 40-feet-high Ravan, it takes atleast two days.

This time we have introduced various moustaches in the effigies - bushy, twirled, and very long ones - to give a special touch to them.” Metrolife also spotted a two-faced effigy made specially on-demand.

Empanelling the roads from Tagore Garden to Subhash Nagar roundabout, these fluorescent- coloured effigies make every passer-by, specially children, to stop and get a picture clicked. The commotion around never ceases to stop; even when we talk to Monu and Pradeep, the effigy makers, they continue to do their work.

“My grandfather used to make effigies. Otherwise, we as a community are more into bands, generators and other such trades related to weddings. Till Diwali, we indulge in other seasonal occupations, like this one.” Monu explains the process, saying, “We source baans ( bamboo) from UP and split it up after measuring it. It is later wired-up into a form and we put wet cloth all over it, in order to put paper on it. Paper doesn’t stay on its own. Later, it is dried and colourful paper and colours are used to enhance its design.”

An average 50-feet-long effigy may cost around Rs 7,000-8,000, while one can also buy
something as large as a 100-ft one.

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