Pratima Visarjan By Gaganendranath Tagore
Water colour painting on the idol immersion of the Goddess Durga after her home-coming is celebrated through a grand festival
For Bengaiis, in particular, October is a climactic month. As the monsoons begin to recede, those in Kolkataoften begin to smell the Pujas in both the air and the ground. Historically, Durga has been more daughter than goddess in these parts. The story goes that for four days every year, she leaves her husband’s celestial abode to visit her earth-bound parents. Durga family for the faithful. They worship her with a fondness they reserve for ones deeply familiar, someone who is altogether theirs.The idols you see in the state during this time are, of course, art, but Gaganendranath Tagore (1867–1938), one could argue, has captured the festival’s revelry and luminescence his Pratima Visarjan like no other artist has. The last day of the Pujas are mournful—the goddess will be gone for a year now—but as Tagore shows, those who accompany her farewell process makeup for their sorrow with abandon.While he does play with light and shade here, Tagore,like the Pujas, illuminates everything.