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Durga Puja

Durga puja, Egyptian style at DPS Megacity

Quadrangle had flexes of pyramids and sand dunes while pillars and paintings were put up with pictures of pharaohs and sphinx, 8ft Durga looked Egyptian and was placed inside a pyramid

Brinda Sarkar | Published 03.11.23, 10:28 AM
Moments from the Puja pandal

Moments from the Puja pandal

Pictures by Brinda Sarkar

Neither Sreebhumi nor FD Block. The first idol DPS Megacity students visited this year was on their own campus. The school held a pre-puja celebration with music, dance, art, and a gorgeous Egyptian-themed idol created by teachers and students themselves.

The quadrangle had flexes of pyramids and sand dunes while pillars and paintings were put up with pictures of pharaohs and sphinx. The 8ft Durga looked Egyptian and was placed inside a pyramid.


“I’ve never seen an Egyptian-themed pandal before, let alone help build one,” smiled Sk Ayan of Class V. Ayan’s painting of mummies had been selected for the decoration and was stuck up on the pyramid. “We’ll be studying Egyptian civilization in school later and thanks to this project, I’ve already got a good idea about them.”

Aarushi Gupta was delighted to see her paintings of pharaohs in the arena too. “My own puja in Baguiati does not follow a theme but then this one is my puja too,” said the Class V student.

Despite the kids having made all the artwork piecemeal, the overall effect was quite a surprise for them.

“I’ve been planning this for a year,” said headmaster Jude Baptist. “I asked students to hand in these paintings — not for puja decorations but — as part of their social science project. Teachers chipped in too, 165 of them. Once all the material was in, we assembled it over the last few days to form a Durga puja ‘pandal’ that kids came to school and saw.”

The idol was unveiled on Tritiya, which suited Ariz Islam of Class IV just fine. “I’m leaving for Murshidabad on Panchami and would have missed out on Calcutta’s puja if it wasn’t for this one in school,” he smiled, pointing at his pharaoh painting. Their teacher Debashree Roy was taking the class around the quadrangle to soak in the spirit.

The idol had been sculpted by Sourav Ganguly who is the school’s — not sports but — art teacher. “I have been a student of clay modeling and enjoyed creating this Durga. It was painted gold for finish and other teachers helped with the idol’s jewellery and decorations,” he said.

Later in the day, Ganguly took part in fusion dance. He and other male teachers wore pharaoh masks and jived to Egyptian music while female teachers danced to puja and dandiya songs.

Aarchisa Das, a Class IV student, led a huge contingent of her friends in an Egyptian dance too. “I learn Odissi at home, Bharatnatyam at school but these Egyptian steps, choreographed by Chandrima Mitra ma’am, were easier than them both,” smiled the girl in golden headgear.

The dhak department was under the sole charge of young Agniswar Misra Ganguli. “I’ve been playing the drums since the age of two,” said the unassuming fifth grader. “Now I learn the djembe online from Taufiq Qureshi, brother of Ustad Zakir Hussain, and drums from Gopen De Sarkar,” said the Salt Lake FE Block resident. “As for the dhak, I’ve listened to a lot of it and compose patterns on it and play.”

Principal Indrani Sanyal pointed out that most of the décor in the arena was triangular in shape. “The two angles at the base symbolise parents and teachers while the top angle stands for the child. If the base is strong the child will flourish,” said the lady who had chipped in for the celebration by cooking khichuri bhog herself. “We also want to emphasise that this festival is secular. At a time when nations are breaking into war, children need to spread universal love and positivity.”

Last updated on 03.11.23, 10:28 AM

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