By now the festive fragrance of Durga Puja is "Knock, knock, knocking on" every Bong's door! Last year, during this time of the year I had taken special interest in visiting idol artisans' workshops to document Durga idols in making. It was sheer pleasure to capture those seldom recognized idol sculptors giving life to lumps of clay with such steady and gifted hands. Making a Durga idol (or idol of any other deity) demands several days of hard and artistic endeavor. Many times, the idol an artisan makes is yet to be commissioned and thus he is left with the only option to wait for a prospective buyer.
This year, my dwindling boldness to skip work and chase passion (read "clicking photos") didn't quite allow me to capture different phases of idol making. Better late than never, finally I managed to come up with monochromatic glimpse of the interior of an idol artisan's workshop, partly as an obligation to my dear photo blog and mostly to sedate my pricking conscience of being apathetic towards photography. Once you enter an idol studio you'll discover clay sculptures of various Hindu deities in various sizes, myriad art forms and different phases of making. Idol workshops are usually so packed that there are hardly proper work space for artisans. Still they continue molding and painting clay with utmost efficiency under dim light!
Here's an interesting trivia on Durga idol making: Did you know that the idol of deity is not ready for the Puja unless it contains some soil from any brothel? This age old custom is strictly practiced in Bengal. There are many opinions justifying this ritual but I'm stating the one which I found to be somewhat logical. Before I do so, please understand that I am no moral police and certainly not judging anyone's action. Men who visit prostitutes are believed to leave their purity of soul outside the brothel. Thus, the soil outside brothel gets rich in vitamins and minerals of human goodness, making it eligible to be a prime ingredient for Devi's idol.
Although I couldn't bring much photos of idol making, I'll make it up by capturing more during the Durga Puja. Meanwhile you may have a look at my previous photo stories on idol making:-
* Durga Idols yet to get their Vision
* Artisans busy in Painting of Idols
* Idol-makers' friendly Kids