Bengal in all its colourful glory

As part of India Habitat Centre’s two-day long Bengal Art and Literary Festival, ace lensman Sanjay Das’ photographs from the region were also showcased under the title ‘Remembering Bengal.’ Sanjay, once again, brought to the Capital, Bengal’s splendid moods captured in his camera. The exhibit showcased a range of cultural aspects of Bengal starting from medieval era architecture to folk music and festivals to vibrant markets and fairs.

Sanjay, a Bengali expatriate in Delhi, has extensively travelled across Bengal. Over the years, he has documented various terrains of the state. “Bengal,” he says, “is abundantly gifted by nature. It is flanked by the Himalayas in the north, the lush Gangetic plains in the central part and the south is dotted with deltas and beaches. This is before Ganga’s myriad tributaries and distributaries finally drain into the Bay of Bengal forming the unique Sunderbans. This makes the region a photographer’s paradise.”

Sanjay has a host of such photographs forming a breathtaking body of collection. One can get a glimpse of everything from North Bengal’s hilly terrains to life on the shore of Ganges and even the peculiar swamp forests and mangroves of Sunderban.

Add to it Bengal’s melange of ethnicity, culture, religion and languages. Sanjay says, “Bengal is mesmerising with its long history, cultural legacy, ancient architectural sites and above all, its amiable people. At every bylane, I have witnessed how the locals organically weave their spiritual practices within their everyday activities. Their life, occupation, skills, art and craft, tribes, festivals, fairs and rituals depict the lyrical quality of life, spirit and the pulse of Bengal.”

This pulse is read very well in pictures of Durga Puja celebrations in different parts of the State. There are shots of creation of the magnificent idols, the puja itself and even lonely idols abandoned at the foot of trees. Images of markets which are flooded with lotus flowers, offered to Goddess Durga, are equally charming. Sanjay reflects Bengal’s syncretic culture through shots of historic mosques in Bengal, Eid festivities and the daily namaaz  there too.

Sanjay’s work has made him an ambassador of his homestate and his pictures represent the Bengali culture in all its colourful facets.

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