Agomoni – Embodiment Of The Goddess

The life of Bengalis revolves around one major thing amongst most others predominantly – Durga Puja. While for most others, the annual cycle of the year is January – December, for Bengalis around the world, the annual cycle is from October – September. As it so happens, now that we have entered the second half of August, all Bengalis can think of is Pujo, the activities around it, the food, the fashion and the planning. And as this Pujo Crazy city prepares itself for yet another frenzy of Durga Pujo, the potters or ‘Kumors’ living in the dingy narrow lanes of the world-renowned Kumortuli, are immersed with their work of bringing Goddess Durga to Life.

Their relentless work has always been a subject of interest and intrigue for the photography loving, art-loving crowd from different places. And we believe that it is about time that we should start the pre-pujo celebrations. That is Agomoni – the heralding song of the making of the Goddess. The below-featured photographers have captured her making, her coming to life.

Ritesh Ghosh

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Hi! My name is Ritesh Ghosh and I am a travel and Street Photographer from Kolkata, India.

This would probably not have been my introduction 8 years ago when I was just a regular guy working as a cashier in a Private Bank. Although I had been creatively inclined since childhood, the 9 to 5 grind left me with almost no time to discover the potential within. I guess everything comes with an expiry date and so did my career as a Banker. It was in January 2014 that I decided to hang up my banker boots and opt for a better alternative. With the little savings that I had managed to accumulate and not knowing what exactly I wanted to pursue, I purchased my first DSLR camera, The Canon 600D. Looking at the world around me through the little glass window on my camera (better known as the viewfinder) I started getting intrigued day by day. As I was running out of money I decided to take up a job and moved out to Dubai for a year. During my stay abroad, I was following a lot of Photographer’s on YouTube when I came across this gentleman named Zack Arias who was shooting with the Fujifilm X100s. The sheer brilliance of this little mirrorless system was such that Mr Arias had declared that “The DSLR is dead.” The statement was so convincing that I ended up purchasing the X100s for myself.

Coming back to India in October 2015, I started taking pictures on the streets of Kolkata. The 23mm f.2.8 on the X100s was just the perfect combination for capturing the street action. Photography is all about how you perceive the world through that viewfinder glass on your camera. Persistence and Patience are the best friends of a photographer. I try and shoot regularly for about 3 hours. By virtue of these qualities, one starts looking at the things around them with precision. I have been visiting Kumartuli and it’s alleys from the moment I had my first camera in hand about 4 years ago. There were times when I would return without a single decent frame. But that did not deter me from going back to the same place again. With every repeat visit, I started noticing minute things present around me which were otherwise invisible to others.

My gear includes the Fujifilm XT1 with the 10-24mm, 16mm, 23mm, 18-55mm and 50-140mm lenses.

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/love_thy_camera/

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©Ritesh Ghosh

Anirban Lahiri

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Hi, I am Anirban Lahiri. Photography is my profession but I am still studying in a college. In achievements, I have got many features on Instagram and Facebook. I love to capture beautiful moments of streets in Kolkata. I am using Sony Alpha58 camera.

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/story_behind_my_lense/
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©Anirban Lahiri

Indrajit Bhattacharjee

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Kumortuli, the name of the place has its origin (quite evidently) from “Kumar” (pronounced as “kumor” in Bengali), which means potters. These potters can be traced back to Krishnanagar, the haven of clay modelling in Bengal. Some potters from Krishnanagar shifted base to Gobindapore, around three hundred years back, in search of a livelihood and later on moved to Sutanooti. The city of Kolkata (earlier known as Calcutta) was formed with the three villages of Gobindapore, Sutanooti and Kalikuta in the late seventeenth century. The craftsmen at Kumartuli use straw and jute strands to form a shape of the deities on a skeleton of bamboo sticks and wooden planks and on a wooden pedestal, and then they cover it with a thick layer of clay. The delicate modelling of the figures is carved out of the clay by expert artisans. Modelling the face is the most difficult part and is left for the more skilled ones. The surface of the figures is smoothed with a wet piece of cloth and when they dry up they are whitewashed with a chalk solution before applying the base colour. On the last stage, after the colouring is over, a layer of varnish is applied to have the glossy look. More often the figures are decorated with gorgeous dresses and dazzling ornaments.
Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sound_of_a_shutter/
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©Indrajit Bhattacharjee

Satyaki Seal

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Hey, my name is Satyaki Seal I am an Under Graduate student & a storyteller also. I am from sodepure, big fan of East Bengal. Photography is my passion. I have done various photography assignments, especially in functions and events. I like to explore enigmatic things and places and tell the story about it. I love street photography, portrait photography more.

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nostalgia_nd_kolkata/

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©Satyaki Seal

Kalyan Ghosh

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Hi, this is Kalyan, from Kasba, East Kolkata Township. An amateur photographer, and love to freeze the moment.  Since childhood, I have marvelled over the intricate beauty of the idols of Goddess Durga during the Durga Festival and always wondered about how they are made. Finally, I got an opportunity to explore Kumartuli, which is one of the cultural precincts of Kolkata. It was my long cherished desire to visit Kumartuli, the alley of the potters, where gods and goddesses are born in the skilled hands of mud sculptors who are in the profession of the clay idol making for several generations.
Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ghosh.icchemoto/
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©Kalyan Ghosh

Nilanjana Nandi

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Hello, I am Nilanjana Nandy. I have done my masters in Political Science and currently, I am a private tutor. Photography is my hobby. The given picture has been taken at Kumortuli with my smartphone camera Motorola G6 play
Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/_me_nilanjana/
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©Nilanjana Nandy

Somia Mallick

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I am Somia Mallick, I am a 2D Animator by profession. I am perusing this hobby cum passion from last 4-5 years. My photography journey was started with a small Digital Camera. Now am using Sony A58 & Nikon D750. My 1st ever big achievement is winning Sony Alpha Monthly National contest. From that time I won several awards. My work was also published in a Photography Magazine named ” Chiiz” magazine. One of my photos got published in Nat Geo Traveler India website. All these small & big achievements inspired me and made me a more enthusiast for photography and my love for photography growing more n more.

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/somiamallick_photos/
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©Somia Mallick

Tathagatha Talukdar

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I’m Tathagata Talukdar. I’m from Jadavapur. As a professional currently I’m working as an Office Assistant at a Pvt.Company. My passion is photography. In my point of view moments which is around us & soothing my eyes those moments captured is called Photography. My photography journey starts around 2012/2013. I’m using the Kodak Easy Share Digital Camera & Canon Point Shoot sx410.
Achievement: I’ve Participated at ESEL South Kolkata Photogenic club for Salon. One of my photos was selected.
Currently, I’m an active member at “Sanskriti – Culture Through Lens” since 2016.
I’ve also participated in annual photo exhibition of my team (Sanskriti Culture Through Lens) twice ( 2016-2017 & 2017-2018)
The photo in question was taken by Kodak Easy Share at Kumartuli.
Follow my work on –
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©Tathagatha Talukdar

Soumadip Das

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Hello, this is Soumyadip Das from Kolkata. I am currently working at the coal India LTD as assistant manager. I have done my PG from IIT Kharagpur. In the chaotic restless life, photography is like a fresh air for me. I often work in the paid assignment, especially fashion and model shoot.  Tokina 11-16mm is my strongest weapon this particular picture was taken with it. Except capturing moments I like to paint moments too.  I have some publication in the reputed magazine and often my pictures are shown in exhibitions.

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/soumyadip_das_1/

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©Soumyadip Das

Sayantani Basu

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Hey, this is Sayantani Basu from Khardah, Kolkata. A Librarian by profession and a photographer by passion. I use a Nikon d5200 camera.
Follow my work on Instagram – @the_pictures_i_took
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©Sayantani Basu

Piyali Naskar

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Hello everyone!

Thank you for featuring my works again on your website. My name is Piyali Naskar and I’m a self-taught street photographer based in Kolkata. I am 23 years old, from Howrah, West Bengal. I have a master degree in Nutrition and Dietetics science and besides this, I love taking photographs. I started practising photography two years ago and fell in love with this art right away. Since starting, I have been using my mobile camera for photography. One of my works has exhibited at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College, Kolkata on their annual fest and also my works featured by Inspiro India Magazine, Creative Image Magazine, Indian Shutterbugs and previously on Weekendtrivia’s website.

I had taken these photographs at Kumortuli (traditional potters’ quarter in northern Kolkata) during the pre-Durgapujo occasion, using my cell phone camera RedMi 2S.

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ladly_piyalee/

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©Piyali Naskar

Avik Mukherjee

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Myself Avik Mukherjee, an amateur self-taught photographer from Kolkata. Photography is way more than just a hobby for me. I had started my journey long days back with my first camera which was an analogue one. When I was in college, I had started roaming around my city and its colour and vibrancy never fails to amaze me. Since then I am trying to capture my city’s interesting frames by roaming around its alleys. Currently, I am working as a Cancer Researcher in NIT Rourkela. This particular photo was clicked at Kumortuli last year when I found an artisan was busy with his work. This picture was clicked using a Nikon D5600.

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/avikininsta/

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©Avik Mukherjee

Arpita Pramanick

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Hi! This is Arpita. I have completed me under graduation from Calcutta University in Sociology and done a professional course in animation from Framebox Animation and Visual Effects. At present, I am doing photography professionally. Landscape, street, wildlife, macro and portrait is my favourite genres.  I am a wanderer, I love to explore and my machine allows me to freeze precious moments in the future.

These pictures were taken at Kumartuli with Nikon D750 and 24-120 lens

Follow my work on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/iarpita_insta/

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©Arpita Pramanick

These wonderful photographers have not only breathed life into their subjects but also set the mood correct for the Puja. It is time for homecoming. The tickets have been booked, the plans are almost ready. Time to delve right into the madness.

Because as they say, Pujo Pujo Lagche

Happy Sunday Folks!

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