Durga Puja is one of the big festivals in India. Every year, millions of travellers visit West Bengal to see its colour and beauty. Unique themes to traditional decoration, it has a different charm to give people happiness and joy. In this context, I can’t ignore the role of potters. Every year, they give their heart and soul to make Durga and her four children’s idols and sell them to the Durga puja committees.
Interestingly, these potters use all environment-friendly items like clay and bamboo. Most of the time, they bring clay from the bank of the Hooghly river as it sticks easily and bit whiter. According to the ritual, a potter must collect soil from a brothel area and mixed it with the clay. Old belief says, when a man visits a brothel, he leaves his purity outside which settles into the soil of that area. Others say it is a ritual to show respect to the purity of the prostitutes’ soul.
Artists start their work by making bamboo structures and then they give shape by using clay. Once it drys up they put colours and clothes to decorate it. It takes months to complete an idol.
Classic idols are being decorated with daker saaj, a type of silver foil. Nowadays, potters are giving some creative touch to give a unique look to the idol. Sometimes, they make idols with the preferences of Puja committees and based on the themes.
Every year, these idols are being displayed with gorgeous decorations all over West Bengal and some other places outside the state and the country.