Paying ode to Durga with theatre and `Patachitra`

A group of artists are presenting a unique theatre production inside many puja pandals of the city.

Updated: Oct 21, 2012, 16:32 PM IST

Kolkata: Using the dying folk art form of `Patachitra` or scroll paintings to celebrate womanhood during Durga Puja, a group of artists are presenting a unique theatre production inside many puja pandals of the city.

Written and directed by the acclaimed Suman Mukhopadhyay, the Bengali play `Ebaar Durga Ki Korbe?` (What will Durga do now?) employs the traditional medium of `Patachitra` to present a modern-day rendition of Goddess Durga`s life.

By paying a tribute to `Durga` inside every woman, the unique play produced by `Nihar Naturals` celebrates the different roles played by progressive women in modern times.

"The play explores the way today`s progressive women tackle the dualities of difficult decisions in their everyday lives, and overcome their vulnerabilities to choose what they truly believe in. It depicts the progressive manner in which women lead their lives," said Suman, who has worked on a host of award-winning productions ranging from European drama to major adaptations of Bengali masterpieces.

With the help of skilled `Patuas` or painters, the long- forgotten form of `Patachitra` which had faded into oblivion from Kolkata since early decades of the twentieth century got a new lease of life.

Puja pandals like those in Baghbazar, Jodhpur Park and Salt Lake`s FD Block have metamorphosised into a stage for this play which has actors like Hiraan and Payel Sarkar.

The traditional art form uses scrolls to visually depict
a scene which is then explained by a narrator or actor in front of a live audience.

"We chose it because it is a very versatile art form that successfully expresses the sentiments of the production," said the director.

Payel, who plays the female lead said, "Being a woman, I feel the emotion driving the production is very valuable and genuine, and the sentiment will be appreciated as it depicts the realities and vulnerabilities that they have faced and come out of."

Attracting pandal hoppers, the one-of-its-kind initiative is striking a deep chord in the hearts of women in Bengal.