| Tanmay Pal works on an idol on Daldali Road in Patna. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Tanmay Pal hardly had time to speak on Wednesday. For the time being, he is in a world of sand, clay and colours.
The 32-year-old from Burdwan district in Bengal has arrived in Patna in August, like every year, to make Durga idols.
A little more than three weeks to go for Durga Puja, a large number of idol makers from Bengal has reached Patna. Besides catering to the demand of idols from various puja organisers, these artists look forward to this part of the year to earn a living.
“We do not have time for anything else this time of the year as we have to complete many idols in a stipulated timeframe. We need about 10 days to complete even a small idol,” Tanmay, who was working at a stall on Daldali Road, said.
Gopal Pal, an artist from Kumartuli in Calcutta, has been making idols for the past two decades.
He said: “Patna is like my second home. Idol making is our family business. I learnt the art from my father, who learnt how to make idols from my grandfather,” he said.
On the materials required for idol making, Gopal, who is working in a stall at Bakarganj, said: “Key ingredients like clay, sand, straw, rope, cotton clothes are required for making idols. Colours are then used to give the final look to the goddess and the asura.”
Areas like Bakarganj, Jagdeo Path and Daldali Road are popular for making idols during the festive season but during the time of Dussehra, the workload increases because of bulk demands.
The owner of the place where artists make idols at Daldali Road, Shiv Shankar Pandit, said: “Every year we call these artists from Bengal because they are the best in idol making. So far, we have received orders for almost 250 idols. The idols cost between Rs 11,000 and Rs 1 lakh.” The look of the idols, which add to the colour of the festivities, is the output of the toil of these artists. Tanmay Pal’s words sums up their efforts: “It is not an easy job.”