With climate change and eco-conservation take priority in the world, Kolkata's Chetla Agrani Club has decided to celebrate 'Durga Puja' in a uniquely recycling way. Organisers of this year's Durga Puja Pandal have decorated the Pandal with 4000 old letterboxes along with old typewriters, lanterns, phones, radios, gramophone, and clocks, according to ANI. Photos show a colourful array of letterboxes, decorated with scenes of daily Kolkata life forming a cave-like Pandal. The club was founded in 1959.
Visuals also show walls of the Pandal decorated with old vinyl disks, wired telephones, grandfather clocks, gas lamps. The walls too are seen to be in tune with the vintage aesthetic - proudly displaying open red bricks. Lines from famous poet Rabindranath Tagore's poems too are seen written on the walls, displaying Kolkata's rich cultural heritage. Visitors are greeted by an old, red India post letterbox at the entrance to the Pandal.
West Bengal: The Durga Puja pandal of Chetla Agrani Club in Kolkata has been decorated with 4000 old letter boxes along with old typewriters, lanterns, phones, radios, gramophone and clocks. pic.twitter.com/H8GsEx0RhA— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2019
Speaking to ANI, Srinjay Chatterjee - an organiser has explained the reason behind the letter box theme. He said, "This year's theme is based on a line (Kolikata Cholichhe Norite Norite) from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore. We have used the letterboxes as these were an integral part of Kolkata's history". Photos also show that the ceiling of the Pandal is dotted with buildings - a reflection of present-day Kolkata.
Themed Pandals have been spotted in other parts of Kolkata too. At a time when panic over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has gripped several parts of West Bengal, a community Durga puja committee in the city has chosen "refugees" as its theme this year. Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha puja, one of the award-winning community pujas in the city, has placed shuttlecocks and badminton rackets randomly in front of the marquee. This was done to convey that "refugees are nothing but shuttlecocks lobbed to each other's side by two countries", according to PTI.
Echoing green sentiments, the 'probashi Baangali' community behind Dwarka's Dakshinayan Durga Puja Samiti has conceptualised the puja as a throwback to simpler times when everything was bamboo, cloth, 'maati' (earth) and 'shol' (a white plant-based decorative material). Bamboo, considered a green gold, has been a traditional element in Bengal for building homes and other structures. It's no surprise then that the traditional timber is used to erect the pandal. But it's interesting that the Samiti has used bamboo to bring alive their theme: Earth. Chaos. Peace.