Kolkata: It is Mahalaya on Tuesday, the day that formally marks the beginning of the Durga Puja. It is that time of the year again when the Durga Puja fever grips Kolkata for days. A community of more than 400 artisans in Kumartuli has been giving final touches to the idols, but the rains have made this difficult. Indrajit Paul's family has been making idols for 75 years and he said that the conditions this year are especially tough.
The Kumartali artisan said, "I have never in all these years seen such heavy rainfall. We are running into huge losses. Our idols are not drying in the rains and there is very little time left."
Even as the artisans of Kumartuli pray to the weather gods to save their year's labour from rain, pandal designers are already racing against time to complete their work.
From aluminium kettles and pots to bamboo shoots, from simple moulds of clay to ribs of wood, pandals in Kolkata are now draped in different colours and in different themes, the ideas are big and the effort is bigger....more
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