Unesco has selected Durga Puja as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Autumn Sonata, a recent exhibition held at Debovasha, embodied everything that is special about the season synonymous with the festival. Be it K.G. Subramanyan’s delightful pastel gouache capturing the ‘busy-ness’ of a Durga Puja pandal (picture), his informal sketch of the goddess sitting cross-legged, or Ganesh Haloi’s minimalist, monotone watercolour of a patch of wilderness with overgrown kashphool, or Reba Hore’s mixed media works, the exhibition put together sights and shades that are inseparable from any celebration of autumn.
Lalu Prasad Shaw’s crayon sketches of Jesus and a woman in a hijab send an important message about the inclusive nature of the festival, while a lithograph from Somnath Hore’s Wounds series reminds us that the festival offers just a fleeting reprieve from real life. Jogen Chowdhury, Suhas Roy and Rabin Mondal portray the people and the faces that make up the festive crowd.