In 1778 Kiernander’s sight failed him and for three years he was totally blind from cataract and during this time his son, Robert was in charge of his affairs. In 1781 though Kiernander had regained his sight he faced fresh troubles since he had injudiciously signed some bonds for his son and though the liabilities could have been covered by his assets the creditors were alarmed and the church and adjoining properties were brought under the hammer.
Raja Nabakrisna Deb, though a great patron of local cultural activities such as kabi-gaan was said to be the one who started the practice of hosting nautch parties in Calcutta during Durga Pujas and the nautch girl captivated the heart of the gora sahib for the next two centuries, holding him spellbound by her soft, seductive beauty, graceful movements and mellifluous voice.
For the past week, Piu has been toying with an idea. Next day while chatting on Skype, she could not hold back and blurted out, “Mom why don’t you two marry? I have no objections if that is what is holding you back.” Clearly, taken aback, her mother was quiet for a few seconds. Did I hurt her? Piu thought desperately, did she miss Dad? Did she think she would be betraying his memories? Piu waited for her response.
It was about 2 pm in the night of April 1, 1868. The beat constable after completing his round was returning to Amherst Street when he noticed a bundle of female clothes lying on the other pavement. In the light of his bull’s-eye lantern he realized it was a body – of a young woman lying in a pool of blood. The throat was slit open diagonally. The weapon used to commit the crime – a long sailor’s knife, “moderately sharp”, was found near the spot.
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.