Invoking the Mother Goddess | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 29, 2019

Invoking the Mother Goddess

Art Camp Marking Mahalaya at Banani Puja Mandap

The incessant changing beauty of clouds; freshness and fragrance of sheuli-bokul, eye-soothing beauty of kashphul, sunlight-glittering dewy pearl on the spider webs and the joyful advent of Devi Durga – are the features of Autumn. 

Marking Mahalaya, different temples across the country resonated with the holy Shankhodhwani, coupled with the rhythms of dhak, yesterday. Mahalaya heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power, inviting her to descend on earth and ward off all evils.

The morning of Mahalaya was filled with songs and music, when Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud graced the programme as chief guest. 

Gulshan-Banani Sharbojanin Puja Foundation (GBSPF) organised an exclusive art camp at Banani Puja Mandap yesterday, sponsored by VELOCE Cycles, an enterprise of Meghna Group. Renowned and promising artists of the country -- Samarjit Roy Choudhury, Hashem Khan, Hamiduzzaman Khan, Shishir Bhattacharjee, Biren Shome, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Jamaluddin Ahmed, Farida Zaman, Gautam Chakrabarty, Tarun Ghosh, Bishwajit Goswami, Shohag Parvez and Shahanoor Mamun -- were seen painting (acrylic and watercolour) on diverse themes surrounding Durga and eternal Bengal.

Subal Saha is the current President, and Sudhangshu Kumar Das is the General Secretary of Gulshan-Banani Sharbojanin Puja Udjapan Parishad. On behalf of the organising committee, Amity Kundu, Shwapna Bhowmick, Gitanka Debdip Datta and Srabanti Datta assisted the art camp.

“Durga Puja is our biggest festival. We have tried to consolidate the universal fraternity through art,” said Sudhangshu Kumar Das. “If we can continue this creative initiative, we can diffuse the conscience of humanity.”

“We organised an art camp when we started the journey 12 years back,” explained Shwapna Bhowmick. “I believe that the celebration of Durgapuja has a close link with art. All the artists have been a great support. On the day of Bijoya Dashami, we will organise another open art camp, where children from all walks of life can participate. The street children actually perform better at the art camp!”

According to Gitanka Debdip Datta, everyone should unite in the celebration of Durga Puja, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. “The artworks will be exhibited at the gallery near the puja mandap, and will continue till Bijoya Dashami,” he added.

This year, the road from Kakoli to Gulshan-2 will be decorated and lit with colourful lights and motifs. Every day, 12000 packets of Prasad (either khichuri or polao) will be served among the devotees.

Partha Pratim Saha, along with his 100-member-team, has designed the Banani Puja Mandap.   

Durga Puja starts on the seventh day after Mahalaya, and ends on the tenth day of Dashami or Dussehra. This year, Maha Shashthi falls on October 4 and the festivities will continue till  October 8, which is Maha Dashami or Bijoya Dashami.

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