Still in a state of inertia. Four amazing days gone in a jiffy and it is time to get back to the corporate humdrum but I am in a state of inertia. Durga Puja always does this to me, and I hate going back to the boring routine but guess one year wait for 4/5 days of awesomeness is worth it. And before you say – Every Bengali feels the same way – I am not a bong. But every Bengali, Oriya and Assamese sure feels the same way. You don’t believe me? Well a lot of my Bengali friends in Mumbai didn’t believe me either when I told them about the traditional Durga Puja celebrations of Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar. So here is the list of five of my favorite Durga Pratimas of this year from the heart of Orissa which will do all the talking.
|Durga Pratima in Bhubaneshwar|
|My personal favourite set up in Bhubaneshwar|
|Durga Mandap displaying silver filigree work|
|Chaudhary Bazaar Mandap in Cuttack - known for its silver work mandap|
|Most Creative Durga Pratima in Bhubaneshwar|
P.S. With the availability of the fast drying and easy shaping Plaster of Paris, the traditional way of statue making in India is slowly dying. But Durga Puja in the east is still clinging on to the old ways. In olden times the Murtis (statues) were made of clay and jute and altars of either clay, jute or metal. While a lot of statues today are being made of Plaster of Paris and pose a threat to the environment, majority of Durga Pratimas are still made of clay cause of the belief that the visage of Durga Maa needs to be made from the soil on which beautiful girls walk, and hence are not a bio-hazard. Also, the metal altars and statues are never immersed and are reused every year with minimal or no modification and hence are environment friendly. Orissa specially follows this metal altar tradition and thanks to the famous Cuttack Silver Filigree work, silver altars and ornaments reign in Durga Puja. I seriously hope a similar culture takes over Ganesh Utsav as well and we have safe and fun festivals in near future.