India is full of colours, and by colours I mean festivals and celebrations. India is known for many unique traditions that have been a part of our nation for generations and generations, and yet some things have not changed. One of such festivals is the most celebrated ritual of north-east part of India – Durga puja (or Durga-pujo in Bengali), the celebration of “the victory of good over evil”. It takes a year-long preparation and dedication of many people that results in a flawless process of nine days that has been the same for years and is still celebrated with the same zeal and emotion.
For most people who work selflessly in making this auspicious occasion astonishing, it is more about their love and dedication to Maa Durga that they have committed for their lives. It is needless to say that every single person from making an idol to setting up the pandaal is equally important and passionate towards this celebration.
I have been lucky enough to get hold of one of the artisans, who could spare just few minutes to talk to me about his love and passion towards his job. It is both surprising and appreciable how these people work day and night tirelessly to deliver the most beautiful idol that is transported to all corners of the country. They say “sometimes we are lucky enough to catch 4 hours of sleep, but if we are not satisfied with our work we have to do it again until the output is up to our satisfaction”. It is amazing to see such talent and get inspired by it. Another remarkable thing to be noticed is that all these idols are still handmade using the same basic equipment that is being used over the past decades and decades. But every inch of perfection is exceptional and watching them detailing every inch of that idol in just phenomenal.
Even though the efforts they put in are extraordinary, it’s a shame that they don’t get paid enough for the work they offer. They wait eagerly for the month of October all year round, which is the time Durga puja is held. This is the only time they can get paid handsomely compared to what they have been earning. They say that being selling these artistic idols the only source of income, they do not have sufficient money to fulfil their basic needs. People come and bargain, leaving them a very small margin of money which is very discouraging. Despite that, once the festival is over and all their goods are sold, they start preparations with the same energy and dedication.
It is amazing how we forget that these are the real people making this festival more exciting and beautiful. Can we not take a step back and think about the expenses we do when we shop all the luxury items and expensive clothes for ourselves, without thinking about bargaining? I urge you to ask yourself – don’t they deserve the happiness and satisfaction at the end of the day? If yes, then why not we help them as much as we can by giving them what they deserve. I salute the spirit of such artists and wish we all could learn something from them to give much more respect to their work which can inspire them, too. At least we can do our part to make it the “real” festival for everybody.
I salute the spirit of such artists and wish we all could learn something from them to give much more respect to their work which can inspire them, too. At least we can do our part to make it the “real” festival for everybody.
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