Fire flowers in the skies

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 8.11.13

The Howrah skies were set afire on Kali puja night as the red-and-yellow sparkles of tubris (flower pots) scaled new heights and sprayed fiery colours to win the best tubri crown. Tubri competitions are a popular event in Howrah where people from different parts of Howrah and other districts come to participate.

Kumar Sangha, a barowari puja in Howrah, had organised such a competition on their 81st Kali puja this year where 27 participants from Howrah and Hooghly arrived with their flower pots to fight for the coveted title. According to the rules of the competition, the colour of the sparkles have to be red-and-yellow and the tubris have to produce enough sparkles that should reach a good height in order to win a prize.

Although many participants like to make colourful flower pots, the club committee had specified that the participants could only use iron fillings to produce the characteristic red-and-yellow light. This year, the club gave away prizes till the seventh position. The flower pots were judged according to their height, colour, sparks and overall beauty.

Kulgachhia’s Soumen Samanta took the first prize of a silver chain for Ma Manasa that was adjudged the ‘perfect’ tubri by the judges. “The height crossed the 75 feet limit and the colour was also attractive,” said Manabendra Hore, secretary of the club. Ankan Naskar from Serampore won the second prize for his tubri, Nakshatra, while Subhadeep Naskar from Singur won the third prize for Somasree Tomar Jonnyo.

Khurut Byayam Samity’s 67th tubri competition had 50 participants from Howrah, Hooghly, Calcutta, North and South 24-Parganas this year. Under the watchful eyes of three judges, who were positioned at different points, the participants went through two rounds of competition.

“We have a lot of criteria for judging the tubris. One of them is that the shell of the tubri should not crack. If it bursts, then the participant is disqualified. The size should be of five-inch diameter. Those with sparkles covering a larger area get better scores,” said Ranjan Kumar Das, a member of the club committee. The club gave away four prizes. The first prize, a gold ring, went to R K Saha of Lake Town for his tubri named, Jharna Dhara. The second prize was a water filter that went to Mampi Bose of Chittaranjan, Burdwan for her flower pot, First Bomb Blast. The third prize, a rice cooker, went to Kulgachhia’s Smritilata Samanta for the tubri named Barnisikha while in fourth position was Pabitra Sasmal of Kamardanga, Howrah with his tubri named The Burning Train. He won a vacuum flask.

Dalia Mukherjee