The cycle of life, its various phases and the legacy one leaves behind will be chronicled at the Badamtala Ashar Sangha puja, which is celebrating its 84th year. My Kolkata is the digital media partner of Badamtala Ashar Shangha.
Theme and decoration
The theme, titled Padanka or Footprint, will reveal man’s journey of life.
“It will showcase life’s journey through different phases and the cycle will end with the next generation taking over,” said Sandip Chakraborty, one of the organisers. To depict the theme, the club has placed boats, made landscapes and installed miniature buildings etc.
The clay idol of Durga will show the goddess meditating. “The focal point of the theme will emphasise on the fact that the Almighty is the epicentre of all creations, including humans,” said Chakraborty, hoping that his club’s theme and idol will be among the most popular in south Kolkata. The budget of the puja is pegged between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 35 lakh.
In the past, too, Badamtala Ashar Sangha has made a mark with its pandal artistry. In 2003, Jangalgarh showed the tribal forts of south Bengal; Jelepara in 2002 depicted a fisherman's village; Deblok in 2007 showcased heaven and Battala in 2008 was based on block printing.
The organisers did their bit even in COVID times. “In 2020, two other local clubs joined hands with us and three pandals were made to highlight Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy. It was a tribute to the maestro on his birth centenary. In 2021, all three clubs arranged for a drive-in puja where the visitors didn’t have to get off their vehicles to see the pandals or the idols. This was done to avoid the crowd and congestion,” Chakraborty said.
The club is also associated with several NGOs and provides study material to street children. “This year, we have taken an initiative to educate people on pollution. We have installed a digital pollution board at the pandal and are planning to set up a special health camp to cater to policemen and sewage workers who are most exposed to pollution,” Chakraborty said.
How to reach
The Badamtala Ashar Sangha puja is just about a kilometre away from the Rashbehari crossing. From the Metro station, it’s a 10-minute walk towards Chetla. The nearest Metro station is Kalighat and from there, one can take a bus or share an auto. However, the pandal is between two bus stops, so it’s best to walk the distance from the Metro station.