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Durga Puja Committee Finds Muse in Painter Salvador Dali, Makes Pandal Using ‘Melting Clocks’

Using Spanish avant-garde painter Salvador Dali’s ‘surrealism’ as the pandal theme, a Durga Puja Committee in Kolkata wants to point at the excess use of mobile phones and social media.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:October 8, 2018, 2:46 PM IST
Durga Puja Committee Finds Muse in Painter Salvador Dali, Makes Pandal Using ‘Melting Clocks’
Durga Puja Pandal by Nalin Sarkar Street Sarbojonin Durgotsav 2018 in Kolkata

Kolkata: The countdown to Durga Puja, Bengal’s biggest festival, has begun and all puja committees across the state are busy in giving final touches to their themed pandals to get maximum footfall.

Bengal has seen some fascinating puja pandals in the past, from Padmavat-themed pandal at Sreebhumi area, projection of Madurai’s Meenakshi temple in Gariahat and a turmeric-inspired pandal in Santoshpur Lake area.

This year ‘Nalin Sarkar Street Sarbojonin Durgotsav 2018’ has found inspiration in Spanish avant-garde painter Salvador Dali’s ‘surrealism’ — an influential movement in twentieth century art — and made it their pandal theme.

Speaking to News18, Jayanta Chatterjee, president of Nalin Sarkar Street Sarbojonin Durgotsav 2018 (near Hati Bagan in North Kolkata), said, “This year our Durga Pujo theme is ‘surrealism’ because we feel  today’s society is more inclined towards materialistic items/consumerism. People are spending more time on mobile phones, social media and don’t even interact with their family members. This is exactly where Dali’s ‘surrealism’ becomes important because people are going away from reality. People are suffering from depression.”


He said, “Avijit Ghathak, an alumnus of Indian College of Arts and Craftsmanship, is the man behind this year’s ‘surrealism’ theme. We are keeping the marquee interior as per Savador Dali’s work.”

As part of the theme, the floor will scattered with old dysfunctional wall clocks of different shapes and sizes. “We have decided to put clocks on the floors because in Dali’s surrealist paintings, one can see clocks melting and being eaten up by ants,” said Ghathak, the brain behind the concept.


Another Dali-inspired work will be giant numbers (made from wood), huge earthen chillum (used for smoking cannabis), empty first-aid boxes and paintings on ‘real versus fake’.

Last year, the Pujo committee’s theme won ‘Asian Paints Sharad Samman’ award for the best puja in the city. “Last year we had a theme on how Ma Durga visiting the houses of physically challenged children and staying with them. The theme drew a lot of appreciation and we won the best puja award – which is like Oscar for us. This year too, we are expecting some appreciation from the masses,” Puja Committee president Jayanta Chatterjee said.


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