February 02, 2013

The Idols' House

A Doll's House is a play by the famous Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen that talks of women's empowerment.  The Durga Puja, that is celebrated with extreme enthusiasm in Bengal and Calcutta, is also a grand tribute to the Mother Goddess that is rooted in the cult of Shakti worship in India.

Traditionally, the Durga idols that are built every year during the festival are immersed in the Ganges, or the nearest waterbody, to symbolise the transience of the material world. However, environmental concerns have prompted many puja organisers to avoid this immersion and cut down on riverine pollution.

This year, the Calcutta Municipal Corporation has preserved the ten best idols in a makeshift museum that has been set up in a disused warehouse in the city. You can now see the idols without having to fight through the massive crowds that throng the pandals, or temporary temples that are created to house these idols, during the celebrations.

Question is with more than 1000 idols being worshipped in the city of Calcutta alone, what happens to the others ? And what about next year ? Will there be another museum ? Let us postpone that question for the moment.

P.S. The museum is located on the southern edge of the Dhakuria Lakes in Calcutta

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