Kumortuli – The Cradle of Gods
When the world around us is keen to expand, progress, consume… Kolkata remains intriguingly possessed by her self fulfilling prophecy – content with the constant. Like the last tram that enters the depot, Kolkata, is a city in a state that seems to belong in the past more than the future. Here change is in conflict with constant and the latter has been traditionally winning the argument.
Inside the ageing, aching, crumbling body, the heart is still beating alive. Or so we presume! Alive through some of its literature, art, music and festivals wherein content and culture more than race, religion or riches defines the popular sentiment.
Never more so than the time of the year when there is an unmistakable festive scent in the air. The Durga Puja! About the only deadline that the laid back Bengali takes rather seriously. Four days of festivities takes months of elaborate and intricate preparation and at the heart of everything is the creation of the idol. And so we come to Kumortuli (potter’s colony) in Kolkata. The epicenter of idol making for Bengalis.
This is a unique colony of supremely gifted, skillful, remarkable craftsmen & women and artists. The romanticism of this place lies in its charming creativity amidst chaos. As the world queues up to enter few of the world famous wax museums; here in Kolkata on the banks of the Ganges, obliviously thrives Kumortuli as a one of her kind open museum of art, craft and sculptor.
Leading up to the days of the Durga Puja, this is the time in Kumortuli, to come, see, explore and marvel at pure artistic genius living delicately by virtue of legacy.
True artists who, over generations, are labouring for months, creating original works of art within extremely meager means; for these to be immersed and washed ashore after just four days of adulation and worship. Again, come another year, there will be new creation along the very banks of the immersion… a constant, that one hopes will never change in Kolkata.