Friday, December 25, 2015

Fishermen at Udaipur Beach are done for the day

Fishermen at Udaipur Beach are done for the day
In my last photo post I had introduced you with the Udaipur Beach. Udaipur beach is like a long strip of sand connecting New Digha beach with Talsari, in close vicinity to the Bengal-Odisha state border. If you web-search 'Udaipur beach' you'll see various websites and blogs describing this beach as 'pristine', 'virgin' etc, but do not take those descriptions seriously. Either those adjectives are outdated or exaggerated. Udaipur has the same filthy beach and the muddy looking Bay of Bengal that you find in Digha (or, even Puri). Only good part of Udaipur beach is its substantial length which lets you find a tranquil sweet spot of your own away from noisy beach crowd. Tourists fond of water-sports like Jet-ski will have added reasons to dig this beach. Moreover, I don't think there are many beaches in India to welcome you with your vehicle. It is of immense fun to drive/ride along the wet sand but, definitely it contributes to the damage of marine ecosystem. I know today is not the ideal day to make you read another essay. So, cutting it short: Wish you a Merry Christmas! May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you and your loved ones.
Fishermen at Udaipur Beach are done for the day

Fishermen at Udaipur Beach are done for the day
I wish I could post few church or carnival photos. Clearly I'm out of stock and with a long solo motorcycle trip knocking my helmet, I can't venture out right now with the camera (saving my energy for the imminent ride). Clicking fishermen at work ranks among "top 3 things to do" at Udaipur beach. I enjoy watching and photographing fishermen even after getting slapped by one back in 2012. Now keep pondering over the cause of my assault as I've lost my story-telling vibe. Better close your browser and get lungful of fresh Christmas air. Have great time till I return with photographs of sunrise over the Digha beach.
Fishermen at Udaipur Beach are done for the day

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Resting Fishing Boats at Udaipur Beach during Sunset

Resting Fishing Boats at sleepy Udaipur Beach
If you are a conventional sea lover and also a Bong, your weekend holiday destinations are bound to shuffle between Puri and Digha. Unfortunately, Puri is too congested for the taste of many and the overall beach ambiance of Digha has turned unpalatable over the years. But the very distinguishing character of a true traveler is: finding alternative beautiful locations on this globe before they are officially branded as 'tourist spots'. Thus sea-crazy Bongs dissatisfied with Puri and Digha, started searching for better sea shores. Quest for virgin beaches over the past decade gave birth to a group of comparatively pristine seaside destinations in the tourist map of Bengal. Udaipur Beach, located close to Bengal-Odisha border, with its tempting coastline of about three kilometers long joining the New Digha Beach with the Talsari Beach is one of them. Once you drive past Digha, Udaipur is hardly few minutes away. Do not expect a clean beach and the bluish sea. Except these two picture-perfect parameters Udaipur has everything else to tickle your beach weekend fantasy. Mind it my friend, there are only very few beaches in your vicinity where you're free (legally) to explore the wet sand with your vehicle. Dipped in brine and scrubbed with coarse sand, your wheels would definitely discover multiple orgasms while you throttle steadily in unparalleled bliss.
Resting Fishing Boats at sleepy Udaipur Beach

Resting Fishing Boats at sleepy Udaipur Beach
Other than burning your petrol so eagerly you can watch busy fishermen, newly painted fishing boats or savor freshly seasoned sea food in the picturesque beach of Udaipur. As the beach has substantial length there are enough sweet spots for travelers looking for privacy or tranquility. In close proximity to Udaipur beach lies the delta, where Subarnarekha River merges into the Bay of Bengal! If photography is your primary objective Udaipur beach will present you with diverse photographic opportunities, especially during the sunrise or the sunset. I don't want to cause overcrowding in a single blog post by uploading all Udaipur/Digha beach photos. Rather, I'd prefer coming up with another set in my next post. Please do bounce back and add your valuable inputs. Happy end-year clicking and a Merry Christmas!
Resting Fishing Boats at sleepy Udaipur Beach

Monday, November 30, 2015

Clicked Her myriad Moods in Monochrome

Clicked Her myriad Moods in Monochrome
Meet my apartment neighbor. She is a kindergarten kid and we share a beautiful "hi uncle/ ta-ta uncle" relation. Most of the days when I return from work in the afternoon, her mom feeds her with a tablespoon while she carefully monitors what's going on below from the top of our fourth floor gallery. Often I miss waving at her but that's never deliberate. A couple of weeks ago, while taking the elevator I noticed her on the porch and instantly the shutterbug spree overpowered me. I took an u-turn, returned to my flat and brought my camera. Her golden nose ring along with those overtly expressive eyes had added some vintage and rural aroma to these portraits that reminded me of Bengali feature films of sixties! Have you watched Ray's famous movie- 'Pather Panchali' (Song of the little road)?
Clicked Her myriad Moods in Monochrome
Although I could capture her myriad moods in monochrome, my tiny neighbor insisted that I should click only after she puts on her make-up. So, I didn't trouble the angel much due to the fear of annoying a prospective volunteer model. Yes, even her mother was happy to tell how sincere her daughter is when it comes to posing before the lens. Black and white portraits are usually very interesting provided there is at least one contrasting element in the composition that is capable enough to draw a viewer's attention. Interestingly, a monochromatic photo story was the most visited post of this blog till few months back. I intend to shoot more of her black and white portraits. Keeping my fingers crossed  for the next high tide, i.e. the golden moment when three elements- her availability, mood and my clicking urge shall coincide.
Clicked Her myriad Moods in Monochrome
In case you're a newbie and desirous to click portraits of children, don't forget to bend down on your knees to get to their eye-level, make them enjoy your presence and very importantly, maintain a high shutter speed. Explore the black and white mode in your camera. Try to find out which compositions are getting better in monochrome. Shoot randomly, take ample photos and do not discard shots based on your camera display. I'll bring few beach photos (classic combo of sand, sea and the sun!) in my upcoming blog post. Till then take care and happy clicking.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review

Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review
Lenovo Vibe P1, with its rare aluminum and glass design is an extremely attractive looking smartphone, recently launched by Lenovo to target the mid-budget smartphone users and the model has been made available in India exclusively for online sale since the end of October. Despite its sub 16K (Rs. 15,999) price tag Lenovo Vibe P1 has enough elegance to be mistaken as a flagship model from any premium brand. Comparing with other smartphones in similar price bracket overall specifications and features of Vibe P1 are quite decent, if not overwhelming. As you already know me to be a photo enthusiast, naturally along with other things my purpose of a smartphone includes- clicking photos on the go. I believe I am not the only one who gives high priority to the clicking ability of his mobile phone. So, to give you some idea on what to expect from the camera optics of Lenovo Vibe P1, I'm reviewing its camera after using this set extensively for a week. This review will solely focus on the performance, features and image quality of the camera of Vibe P1. So, this is the exclusive camera review of this phone to cater the interest of smartphone photographers and in no way should be mistaken as a full fledged phone review. 

Since last few years Lenovo has been continuously launching its various smartphone models keeping in view of the market craze and few of its models (like Lenovo K3 Note) succeeded in striking a chord with the fancy of budget users. Despite its feature rich handsets, decent after-sales service (well, read it 'semi decent') and recognized brand name, Lenovo has somehow failed to touch the G-spot of the Indian smartphone market. Though not so apparent, reasons are many. Camera has never been a strong point in any of the Lenovo phones, and sadly, the manufacturer seemed ever cold to users' persistent disappointments with their smartphone cameras. On spec sheet, Lenovo Vibe P1 boasts of a 13 MP rear camera with super fast auto-focusing due to PDAF (Phase detect auto focus) technology, dual color LED flash, zero shutter lag (Wow!) and a fixed focus 5 MP front camera. Nothing anywhere Lenovo has mentioned about the type of sensor used in Vibe P1's camera units or the manufacturer of their optics. This invites the inevitable apprehension- Did Lenovo settle with inferior camera in Vibe P1 to keep the price of such a classy looking handset so aggressively affordable? Let's fiddle with the camera of Vibe P1 and see for ourself how good it performs.

Design and Ergonomics: Lenovo Vibe P1 is a fairly large phablet with dimensions 75.6 X 4.6-9.9 X 152.9 mm. The curved aluminum body tapering at sides and the uncanny 189 gm weight make its usage over palm pretty comfortable, but when you hold the same phone as a camera, be it in landscape or the portrait orientation, you'd struggle to find its perfect balance between your fingers and the extra weight will soon add up to make your fingers shaky. Slim metallic edges while capturing photos make you long for better grip. The transparent case supplied by Lenovo in the box is equally slippery and soon, you'll feel the need to buy a good quality silicon case for your Vibe P1 to get rid of the constant fear of dropping the phone. There is no dedicated camera button on the body but the volume rocker button at right can be set to act as either zoom lever or the shutter button. In any case chances are high you'll miss the presence of a soft physical button for camera shutter after composing shot with such a chunky gadget. Unless you have monstrous palms, whether you like it or not, capturing photos in landscape orientation in your Vibe P1 would engage both of your hands. Framing shots and playing with captured photographs is a bliss in Vibe P1 due to its 5.5" Full HD IPS display (401 ppi, 16M colors). In case you're wondering, this screen has fairly good viewing angles and manageable sunlight legibility too. Good things said, I have seen cheaper phones with better viewing angles and brighter screen.
Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review
Options in the camera app of Lenovo Vibe P1 are too limited to be desired by an enthusiast smartphone clicker.
Camera Operation: A gentle tap on the home screen camera icon quickly opens the stock camera app in Lenovo Vibe P1 and you'll be welcomed by a minimalist camera interface with predominance of 'Auto' mode. Quick launching the camera app is also possible right from the lock screen even if you don't have access to the phone. On tapping the right bottom corner of the display Vibe P1 would prompt you to swipe left for camera. Another alternative to click pictures instantly is tapping the volume rocker button twice even when the phone is locked and its display is off. This way you don't have the comfort of composing a shot or focus the required area, but, you can gamble on an otherwise missed opportunity or take few spy shots.
Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review
The camera wants to do everything on its own. I wish it was capable for its intention!
Options in the camera app of Lenovo Vibe P1 are too limited to be desired by an enthusiast smartphone photographer. The camera wants to do everything on its own. I wish it was capable for its intention! The app features a row of icons (when the device is held in landscape mode) that includes- front camera switch, flash control and the HDR. On the right you'll find a column of options to review images, the virtual video, still shutter and shooting mode buttons. The shooting mode screen gives you limited preferences of capturing images in- Normal (the default Auto mode), Panorama or with preset Effects (Mono, Sepia, Negative, Aqua, Posterize, Embossed, Sketch, Neon). Opposite to mode button, on the other corner of the screen lies the settings button. In the settings menu you can choose aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9, 1:1), set the photo resolution (Maximum, Normal), photo quality (Hyperfine, Fine, Normal), white balance (Auto, Incandescent, Daylight, Fluorescent, Cloudy), ISO (100 to 1600), metering method, video quality (Full HD, HD, 480P), timer (3, 5, 10 sec), strobe, activate grid lines, triaxial leveling, GPS, define function for the volume keys (Sound, Zoom, Capture) and choose the storage location. In Auto mode you can always focus by tapping on the live view image and pinch in and out to capitalize the digital zoom up to 3x. However, neither you can lock the focus nor the exposure. The front camera being a fixed focus shooter has more limited options and perhaps that's how the phrase 'bare minimum' was born. You might be excited to know that Vibe P1 lets you capture still shots while recording video. Other than the liberty of setting ISO values and tapping to focus this smartphone gives you no other manual control for camera.
Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review
Exposure and color production are fairly natural in good light.

Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review
Click on the image to check out 100% crop of the above photo.
Image Quality and Performance: 
Powered by Snapdragon 615 64-bit octa-core 1.5GHz processor and backed up by 2 GB RAM, Lenovo Vibe P1 is a pretty responsive smartphone in its class. In less than a second you can launch the camera from home screen and the same feat is possible on a locked display within a couple of seconds. Autofocus works acceptably fast in good lighting condition and focuses on the subject in less than a second. In daylight and bright indoor conditions shot to shot interval was well within a second and I call it decent for a smartphone camera. Surprisingly, shot to shot interval in 'forced flash' mode is very little too! I could capture around four shots in a small span of say five seconds. You can also set the camera in 'tap to capture' mode where your work is only selecting the area of focus in the frame and rest of the job is done by the smartphone. Tap to capture mode is neither fast nor reliable, just a hit or miss at best. All test shots in this review have been taken in maximum resolution (4160*3120), hyperfine quality, auto white balance and auto ISO. File sizes of my sample shots varied unpredictably from 2 to 6 MB.

In good light, the primary camera of Lenovo Vibe P1 produces average image quality. Exposure and color production are fairly natural in most of the photos but images when viewed at 100% size showed clear lack of fine details which one can expect from a 13 MP sensor. Worst agony with Vibe P1's camera turned out to be the lack of an image stabilization system. You have to hold the smartphone real rock-steady (literally so) if at all you want to expect a blur-free photograph! Disappointingly, many times even at higher shutter speeds I failed to obtain sharp images which made me infer that beside incompetent hardware there's some software issues too with the camera of Vibe P1, and Lenovo should fix it with a firmware update as soon as possible. Despite capturing shaky images, thankfully other annoying problems like chromatic aberrations, lens flare, distortions, excess noise etc were hardly present in daylight test shots.
Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review
In low light conditions Vibe P1 is quite aggressive in suppressing noise and it does so at the cost of picture details.

Lenovo Vibe P1 Smartphone Camera Review
Click on the image to check out 100% crop of the above photo.
In low light conditions if you keep the flash off, Lenovo Vibe P1 bumps up its ISO up to 2000 to capture a scene at shutter speed of around 1/10 sec (aperture: f/2.1). Auto-focusing takes its own sweet time (I was having high hope on its Phase Detection Autofocus technology for no good reason!) and seldom night shots are properly focused. At shutter speeds as slow as 1/10 sec you have very thin chance of capturing any sharp image without the much needed aid of image stabilization feature. Vibe P1 is quite aggressive in suppressing noise and it does so at the cost of picture details. But overall I would say this camera does a fine job in maintaining the balance between noise and noise suppression at such high ISO where even many of the compact point and shoot cameras sluggishly give up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Avian Papaya Thieves caught red-handed again

Avian Papaya Thieves caught red-handed again
You won't believe how handsomely tall papaya trees can be unless you get to see one of the papaya trees in our garden. Although others have kept up to their ancestors' reputation and grown as much as a papaya tree is supposed to grow, this black sheep has grown into a lanky monster (any idea if trees too possess growth hormone like things?) presently competing with our old coconut tree! Do not ask me its age or I've to give you a rough estimate of something between 3 and 5 years. Its papaya production has proven to be inversely related to its height. Funnily, as it stands tall among the green crowd now, whatever quantity of fruit it bears gets consumed in the free lunch service of the avian species of our neighborhood. Holy shit, we water the plant so that those fickle minded birds can eat, poop and most importantly, waste the major portion of that juicy yellow pulp (what a pity!).
Avian Papaya Thieves caught red-handed again

Avian Papaya Thieves caught red-handed again
These papaya stealing acts by mischievous birds can be spotted from our first floor dining hall windows and the best location to shoot the culprit is a small washroom window adjacent to the hall. Till date I've captured dozens of birds and squirrels from this sweet snipper point. This time I caught a Bulbul and a Cuckoo red-handed while they were plundering my much loved fruits. Come on, papaya is rich in Vitamin C and if you've constipation it can help you clear your bowel (yes, try it anytime risk-free). I wish these wicked avian thieves revisit my giant papaya tree many times more, especially when I am at home. You know the reason, right? Oh are you enjoying fireworks outside or lazily wasting your evening inside the cave? May divine light of Diwali spread into your life- peace, prosperity, happiness and good health. Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali!
Avian Papaya Thieves caught red-handed again

Avian Papaya Thieves caught red-handed again

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Durga Puja 2015 - Dussehra Celebration with Ravan Dahan

Durga Puja 2015 - Dussehra Celebration with Ravan Dahan
This is the concluding post of the series Durga Puja 2015. I had planned to pandal hop in Haldia and bring before you the best of puja pandals from the petrochemical city. But due to curtailed Durga Puja days this time, I could manage to reach Haldia only after the Vijayadashami to find mostly vacated pandals and ongoing processions of Durga idol immersion of various puja committees. Thousands of people from and outside the city gather near river bank to witness the ritual of idol immersion coated with spectacular carnival vibe. I was kind of impatient to wait by the river and realized that being solo wasn't the best idea either for such festive event. So, I had awful biryani (that's another story) for dinner and drove to a fair ground where Ravan's effigy was waiting to get burnt. I hadn't seen a real life Ravan Dahan before and yesterday night I was totally game for it. Wait, let me put it in an honest way- my enthusiasm behind watching the Ravan Dahan, i.e. burning the effigy of Ravan was not to celebrate the triumph of good over evil but to enjoy the pure fire-show. I least believe in the prototyping of Ravan and Ram as 'evil' and 'good' respectively. But as long as the fanaticism doesn't harm lives I'm fine with the entertainment.
Durga Puja 2015 - Dussehra Celebration with Ravan Dahan
The single-headed effigy of Ravan waiting alone in a corner of the fair ground.

Durga Puja 2015 - Dussehra Celebration with Ravan Dahan
Rockets have been launched once and fire crackers are balancing the rhythm.

Durga Puja 2015 - Dussehra Celebration with Ravan Dahan
A swarm of rockets heading to the effigy while a group of youngsters expresses unbound joy!

Durga Puja 2015 - Dussehra Celebration with Ravan Dahan
The colossal effigy of Ravan is on fire and "Ravan Dahan" made these folks so happy!
As a symbolization of the victory of good over evil, the effigy of Ravan (also spelled as 'Ravana' or 'Raavan') is burnt on Vijayadashami at many places in India. Ravan is the great antagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayana, the invincible ruler of the ancient Lanka who had crossed his limits by kidnapping Sita, the wife of Rama. Ravan was an extraordinarily talented and powerful character. It is such a shame that majority of us who cherish at Ravan Dahan every year recognize him as nothing more than an immoral demon with ten heads! During Navratri, in most of the parts of India, "Ram Lila" is organized everyday in the evening for ten consecutive days. The "Ram Lila" play re-enacts sequences and events from the Ramayana, depicting the life of Ram and dramatization of Ram vs Ravan battle concluding with Ravan Vadh (killing of Ravan by Ram). On tenth day of the play (Ram Lila), i.e. on the auspicious day of Dussehra/ Vijayadashami, the epic battle between Ram and Ravan is staged and its ending is familiar to all of us. As soon as Ravan is defeated in the play, colossal effigy of ten-headed Ravan, internally packed with crackers and sparklers is set on fire by an arrow to mark the climax of Dussehra. Spectators enjoy per se the visual grandeur of Ravan Vadh or Ravan Dahan, and return home with revamped optimism- No matter how ugly the situation gets, good always wins over evil.
Durga Puja 2015 - Dussehra Celebration with Ravan Dahan
Last few minutes of music and salsa before the immersion of idol inside a Durga temple in Haldia

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
I am back with my third pandal hopping visual gatherings of Durga Puja 2015 and probably this is the penultimate puja post (just being optimistic about covering Durgapuja pandals of Haldia) for this year. Previously, I had shown you Durga Puja celebration at Barsul and what I had presumed there turned out to be true. Pandal/idol themes are artistic outputs which can't and ought not to be classified bluntly as 'good' or 'bad'. Still I can not help admitting that most of the puja pandals at Bardhaman have disappointed me. It seems puja organizers of Bardhaman who used to be renowned for grand Durgapuja celebration are either short of funds or creative ideas. With ample talented theme artists in rural Bengal who're struggling to get a contract, the former assumption fits better. On a brighter note, I can smell the traditional style of Durgapuja returning soon in my hometown.
Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Chinese style in the puja pandal of Alamganj Barwari Durgatsav Committee.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Goddess' chubby form in the pandal of Khaluibil G.T. Road Durgatsav Committee.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
A pandal in the form of monster's den in Lakkhipur area.
The pandal hopping crowd at Bardhaman has gained momentum over years. People from periphery are flocking into the town in charted buses more than before and visitors' queues outside eminent puja pandals even after midnight twelve have become a common sight. The reputation of magnificent puja pandals of Bardhaman built throughout decades is the sole centripetal force behind the outside visitors coming with high expectations. It is such a pity that most of the puja committees didn't take enough care to polish their offerings. If being a localite I can indulge in open criticism to express my dissatisfaction why won't our guests do? Among all big and mid-budget puja themes if a single theme blew me away it was definitely from Alamganj Barwari Durgatsav Committee.
Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Durga idol in the puja pandal of Alamganj Barwari Durgatsav Committee.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Durga Puja pandal of Joramandir Puja Committee.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Theme idol of Keshabganj Barwari Durgatsav.
Nonetheless it was pure joy exploring Durga Puja pandals of Bardhaman. It is so refreshing to see positive vibes of so many people at a time, all heading to get glimpses of Devi's face with families or friends. Bardhaman is already an over-congested town (courtesy to few thousands of battery operated three-wheelers) and people tend to lose their patience very easily. But during Durga Puja, we have no hurry, no worry, no mutual negativity and no pulling back stunts. Leaving the artistic side aside for professional critics and analysts, Durga Puja celebration 2015 at Bardhaman has been tremendously colorful, peaceful and successful. You enjoy Dussera/Vijayadashami in happiest possible way while I bring few more photos to complete the Durga Puja 2015 photo series. By the way, did you check Durga Puja photos from Durgapur?
Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Fantasy land woven beautifully by a puja committee near Sankharipukur post office.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Marvelous design using fine nets inside the pandal of Laltu Smriti Sangha.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Bardhaman
Interior decoration of a pandal using domestic plastic items like sink pipes, pots, dishes etc.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Riding on NH-2 is a complete bliss in itself, and this 'feel good' factor of a rider gets many times multiplied when the sole intention of riding from Bardhaman to Durgapur is unadulterated pandal hopping to document the grand Durga Puja celebration of the steel city! As I had a promise to keep before I submitted to the sweet slumber of Panchami late night, yesterday I rode to Durgapur and spent the afternoon exploring all major puja pandals with the sincere assistance of Google Maps. Owing to the smooth connecting highway, vicinity to Bardhaman as a day trip destination and most importantly, due to the abundance of artistic masterpieces in Durga Puja themes, almost every year I make a trip to Durgapur. Somehow township roads confuse me and I need to keep seeking help from localites for road directions. This time I shifted to phone GPS and cruised from one puja pandal to the other without a glitch, and at the end of the day the lower odometer reading made me realize how many more kilometers I used to munch in all these past years to navigate the same puja map!
Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Kingdom of Lord Shiva as portrayed in the theme of Agrani Club so beautifully!

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Durga idol of Sector 2C Durgapuja Committee.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Pandal theme of Fuljhore Sarbojanin Durgapuja Committee is literally dipped in pink!
Once your entry to Durgapur is at the proper point (for people traveling from Kolkata, take the left diversion from NH-2 to railway station road) your pandal hopping will be butter smooth as most of the major committees fall on a continuous linear road map, of course only if you know those inside roads or take help of your navigation device. Few puja organizing committees in Durgapur who steal the show every year and have been doing it consistently since many years are- Marconi Dakshin Pally, Fuljhore Sarbojanin Durgapuja Committee, Agrani Club, Sector 2C Durgapuja Committee, Nabarun Club Sarbojanin, Durgapur Bazar Sarbojanin, Club Santose etc.
Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Radha-Krishna theme with flutes inside the Durga Puja pandal of Marconi Dakshin Pally!

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Durga Puja pandal of Club Santose.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Lord Shiva theme by Agrani Club.
Last year, as per my own assessment the best Durga idol hailed from Marconi Dakshin Pally and the most beautiful pandal/theme was designed by Fuljhore Sarbojanin Durgapuja Committee. In this Durga Puja 2015, hats off to Marconi for coming out with such an unique and pleasing flute theme. Although the pink theme of Fuljhore is so refreshing and highly artistic, I think I was more carried away by the pandal decoration of Agrani Club. I can write thousand more words in praise of each puja pandal I visited in Durgapur, but right now I don't have that luxury; I'm yet to explore Durga Puja of Bardhaman. So, you know what is coming up next. Meanwhile remain doped in this festive air!
Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Theme idol of Fuljhore Sarbojanin Durgapuja Committee looks a bit scary though.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Last minute fine-tuning of the Durga Puja pandal by Marconi Dakshin Pally.

Durga Puja 2015 - Puja Pandals of Durgapur
Gorgeous ceiling art with chandelier inside the puja pandal of Nabarun Club Sarbojanin.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Durga Puja 2015 - Pandal hopping on Panchami midnight

Durga Puja 2015 - Pandal hopping on Panchami midnight
Oh, do I really need to give you an introduction to Durga Puja... and that too in 2015? Well, last year in an identical photo post I had mentioned that- "now a days smart cum fast-evolving Bengalis start their Durga Puja pandal-hopping right from Panchami", but after what I heard and saw yesterday, my statement needs a technical update. Pandal hopping starts right from the evening of Chaturthi, unless a puja committee decides to block the entry of over enthusiastic pandal hoppers. This time the rush of visitors (let's call it mad-rush) was so high that a renowned puja organizer in south Kolkata had to temporarily shut down their Durga Puja pandal right on the auspicious evening of Panchami to avoid further catastrophe after a dozen of visitors got injured in a stampede, in naive attempts to witness the eight-storey tall Durga idol of Deshapriyo Park. Thankfully, neither I have the appetite nor the stamina to pandal-hop in the peak evening hours. So, I do Durga Puja Parikrama my way which usually starts after midnight twelve and Durga Puja 2015 shouldn't have been an exception.
Durga Puja 2015 - Pandal hopping on Panchami midnight
I could start my Panchami midnight with Durga Puja pandals of Bardhaman town (how I wish I could call it a city!) but since last few years I have been following a definite pattern of pandal hopping. Barsul (we pronounce it 'Borshul') is a village by the NH-2, in the bank of River Damodar, hardly fourteen kilometers away from Bardhaman. A couple of puja organizers at Barsul have been surprising us consistently with amazing novelty in their pandal art and idol themes. Durga Puja at Barsul has gained so much publicity that you'll find a mile-length visitor queue every puja day right from the late afternoon outside the pandals of Barsul Young Men's Association and Jagarani Durga Puja Committee! I'm admitting it second time in my blog that puja themes at Barsul have impressed me more than those of Bardhaman.
Durga Puja 2015 - Pandal hopping on Panchami midnight
Marvellous pandal interior of Barsul Anandapally puja committee!

Durga Puja 2015 - Pandal hopping on Panchami midnight
A decoration outside the Durgapuja pandal of Barsul Jagarani Durga Puja Committee.
This year apart from the two puja committees I have mentioned already, the efforts of Anandapally puja organizers of Barsul caught my attention. Although it's still hot during daytime, the cold wind infiltrating my ear canals mixed with the germinating fog induced mild sedation to my otherwise insomniac head. After Durga Puja at Barsul was explored and clicked I decided to ride back to my bed. My Panchami midnight pandal hopping was brief but today as the Durga Puja starts officially, I have planned to make it (Puja Parikrama 2015) large and make it count in my odometer too. I am heading to Durgapur steel city to document her grand celebration of Durga puja 2015! Obviously I'll blog about puja pandals of Durgapur, if not today tomorrow for sure.
Durga Puja 2015 - Pandal hopping on Panchami midnight
The theme idol of Barsul Young Men's Association- what an innovative craftsmanship!

Durga Puja 2015 - Pandal hopping on Panchami midnight
The theme idol of Barsul Jagarani Durga Puja Committee- what an exquisite piece of art!