There are very few feelings that come close to living in The Silver City during the homecoming of Lord Ganesha! The bylanes of the city start bustling with spirituality and festivities start to take over.
Amongst those lanes that are brimming with activity is Kathagada Sahi, the place where God is molded and spirituality takes a prominent shape.
The simple act of seeing mud getting transformed into beautiful idols can leave you mesmerized. The process starts with wood board structures and ends with ample amount of glitter which adds the much needed ‘bling’!
There are a lot of steps involved in between like “Khadama Tiari”, the making of the wood structure, “Nada Bandha”, tying of straw to form the base shape of the idols, “Eka Matia”, first coat of mud applied onto the straw, “Do Matia”, actual crafting of the idols with mud, “Khadi Chadha”, applying chalk primer for the paint and “Ranga Diya” which is the act of final colouring of the idols.
During this time one can easily see creativity at its peak which is on display in every nook and corner. Blessed with exquisite craftsmanship, the artisans here also explore their creative side at times with different varieties of idols like – bamboo, steel etc. The young and the old come together to participate in the process which is lieu of the spirit of the festival.
A day or two before Ganesh Chaturthi, these lanes start resembling the fields of Balijatra. Artisans work through nights to finish up the idols on time. The logistics and shipping of idols in autos/trolleys is common amidst a slight exchange of banter.
This is a glimpse of the artisans and their creation:
They say our body is an embodiment of five elements of which earth or soil is an important component. The Gods are also created from soil by these skilled craftsmen.
There is a strange sense of spirituality and awe that overpowers you if you witness the fascinating process of idols being molded by us mere mortals.
Soon the humble creation of these artisans will flood into every school, college, household and we will immerse in chants praising Ganpati Bappa.
[Story and Photo Courtesy: Sujay Behera]