Himansu Shekhar Rout

This year, a number of pandals and welcome gates of Durga puja committees in Kolkata stand out from others as they truly reflected attractive unique themes and concepts borrowed from films and other sources. One of the unique themes used in a pandal is from Rishab Shetty’s Pan-India South Indian film 'Kantara'.
Devotees can see a true reflection of the Kannada film at the puja pandal of the Girish Park area. Starting from the Goddess Durga to the demon Mahisashura, from side deities to walls and interiors, everything is gracefully sculpted and decorated by artisans on the theme of this much-acclaimed film, which sends out a message that Nature is pivotal to human survival. 

All will feel that the pandal is a copy and paste of the film in all aspects- make-up, costume, design, and ambiance. The pandal is one of the major draws in the City of Joy and devotees got new experience. 

A devotee said, “The type of vibes the pandal emits is not found at other places. I think doing this is really a phenomenon.” 

The breathtakingly decorated pandal and the gates are reportedly mesmerizing the devotees who visit the place in large numbers.  

“Many pandals have been different from each other with their distinctive creativity. Innovative ideas have been made use of for decorations,” said a woman devotee who was excited seeing such innovative pandals.

An elderly devotee along with his wife narrated his experience of visiting various pandals. “Many of puja pandals in Kolkata we have seen are really innovative because of their unique themes used in pandal decorations,” he added.            

The South Indian film, Kantara, is centered on Lord Bishnu who has assumed the form of a boar in the film. One can’t imagine that the pandal will be so beautifully decorated to give a feel of watching the film, though not fully, during the visit.

The pandal emits a feel of a natural ambiance and rich ethnicity – tribal culture and their life because parts of the pandal have been decorated with bushes of sugarcane, green plantains, their plants, palm leaves, and coconut leaves – as if one can have a feel on being the lap of nature – the dwelling place of tribals.
Another attractive puja pandal has been built in the Chorabagan area whose theme is quite different--life experience. The puja pandal is decorated with glass balls (symbolizing raindrops that have been struggling for survival), moving upward and downward.

The theme gives a message that all elements of Nature teach the art of survival. Upward movements of balls are indicative of struggle and dedication to stay alive. At one place, devotees are thrilled to see the blooming of 108 lotuses, which are symbolic of the good times to extricate oneself from testing times.

Reported by Prasannajit Ray, OTV