The puja on Rammohan Roy Road dazzles the pandal-hopper. In shining gold, suggestive of paddy, the Devi has a hand raised in benediction, as if to shower blessings of a rich harvest. The pandal, showcasing craft on a bamboo pole from Contai, has a sky for a ceiling twinkling with artificial stars.
Artist Sanatan Dinda's labour of love is the 73-year-old Nalin Sarkar Street Sarbojanin idol. The Devi is clad in red, which is heightened by the blood-red backdrop. She stands tall, dwarfing all the other gods in miniature. Her victory has been achieved as Mahishasura sits quietly at her feet, looking up submissively. The chandelier is done up with items associated with the pujas like barkosh, kosha-kushi and conch shells.
The Trikon Park idol, on Pratapaditya Road, seems to be wrought in bronze. The elaborate work on her chalchitra adds to the illusion. This Mohanbansi Rudrapal creation, though, is of vintage clay. Only the weapons are in brass, which the para residents remove before immersion.
Lake Town Adhibasibrinda. The Devi commands reverence in the simplicity of her grandeur. The lion resembles the dragon-like beast that is replicated at many of the old family pujas. The chalchitra, elaborate by baroari standards, is worthy of notice in the ekchala idol.
The historic Simla Byayam Samity puja, patronised by freedom fighters, enters its 80th year. The Mother looks beautiful in her simplicity. The fair surrounding the puja in the park adds to its appeal.
Pictures by Pradip Sanyal and Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya