Chandernnagore: Themes at Chandernnagore’s Jagaddhatri puja pandals almost always serve as trend setters for the following year’s Durga puja pandals in the city. Going around the major Baghbazar, Vidyalanka, Kolupukurghat, Banerjeepara, Chandernnagore Barasat and Phulpukur Jagadhhatri pandals on Wednesday, saptami of the festival, TOI saw a fourth dimensional LED version of an animal and bird dance, a similar hi-tech model of a rath mela, a chou dance and one of Mickey Mouse. And major city Durga puja organizers made rounds of these pandals to get theme ideas for their puja next year. Negotiations between these organizers and leading Chandernnagore-based puja theme artistes have already begun. Going by past experience, the artistes say, at best the Kolkata organizers – eager to stand out in the competition by avoiding an exact repetition – will ask them to make slight modifications in their themes.
Light decorations in Chandernnagore’s Jagadhhatri pujas are famous the world over. Acknowledging the skills of the artistes who make this possible, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said while inaugurating the Chandernnagore Baghbazar puja on Tuesday, “These artistes have been called upon to display their skills even in London’s Thames festival. Their work, which reflects the heritage and culture of this small town and its French past, has also reached Venice.”
Chandernnagore-based artist Sridhar Das’s work took him through many a big Durga puja in Kolkata and finally won him accolades in the Thames festival. In last month’s Durga puja in Kolkata, Chandernagore artiste Pintu Mukherjee designed the Ekdalia Evergreen pandal and several pandals in Salt Lake. He has also been called by Durga puja organizers in Tripura. “We have already started planning on decorations and themes for Kolkata’s Durga puja pandals next year. Like every year, many of Kolkata’s Durga puja organizers will come and survey this year’s Jagadhhatri puja pandals in Chandernnagore. Soon after, ideas will start flowing in from them on ways they can replicate a theme from here for their Durga puja pandal next year, albeit with modifications. Once contracts are signed with some of these organizers, work on the Kolkata designs will begin in full swing from January,” Pintu said.
Babu Pal, another well known puja theme artist in Chandernnagore has, in the past, designed the Sreeebhumi Sporting and Deshapriya Park pandals among others. Pal said, “I will be taking contracts from seven Durga puja organizers in Kolkata next year. Kolkata apart, I am also in talks with some Durga puja organizers in Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park.”