If you have ever been to West Bengal during Durga Pujo, you must have encountered the stunningly beautiful idols of the goddess Durga. The devotees hold them in reverence, but for the artisans, they are the pride of their craft. For the Durga idol is not merely a sculpture; it is the embodiment of the vision and the sweat of the sculptor, most of whom are poor.
There is a unique bond between the sculptor and the idol of the Mother goddess, and it is this bond which a documentary made in 2016 depicts poetically.
‘Sharanya’, the documentary, traces the journey of the creation of the idol from the mudflats of Sunderbans to the backyard of one of the poshest colonies in South Delhi. In between, the viewer is taken on a journey through an extremely busy Kolkata at the height of the Durga Pujo festival and the dingy lanes of Kumartuli – probably India’s biggest quarter of potters.
Made by Shubhankar Bhandari, the documentary captures the transformation of the soil of Koikhali in Sundarbans into an idol of veneration for millions of Hindus.
In between, the viewer sees the soil being carefully washed and filtered so that not a single grain is left in the mud which will be used in the creation of the idol.
The entire process of the making of an idol has been depicted in the documentary. We get to see how the porters at Kumartuli devote themselves in the making of the idol. We learn that their love for the craft is so deep that they do not rush through with the creation in spite of rising demand and money.
Entire businesses and livelihoods depend on just one festival which lasts approximately 5 days.
Watch the wonderful tale of the Durga Pujo begins and ends in the immersion of the Mother Goddess into the very soil whence She was created.