Power, Peace and Prosperity reside together at Kumartuli

A picture of Kumartuli with Kali Puja and Diwali approaching.

Heads on sale
Artisans trying to finish Kali idols at Kumartuli

The mood drastically changes at Kumartuli once Lakshmi Puja ends. With all the Lakshmi idols gone, artisans get busy to complete those massive Kali idols that are destined to adorn the pandals of various popular clubs across Calcutta, Howrah and other places. Beside the goddess of strength who slays all evil, reside the gods of prosperity and success – Lakshmi and Ganesh. While Bengalis gear up for Kali puja, other communities prepare for Diwali that includes the homely puja of Ganesh and Lakshmi, praying for peace, prosperity and success in their lives. So, while Kali destroys evil on one hand, Lakshmi and Ganesh bring peace, prosperity and success to all. Kumartuli exudes this contrast even when Durga Puja is underway but becomes more evident as the festival approaches. Diwali is also considered the Festival of Lights that makes it imperative to but the beautiful, multi-coloured diyas that are also being sold on the roadside near Kumartuli. Incidentally, some of the vendors sitting with a wide variety of the clay lamps beside the road, said that purchase had begun even before Lakshmi puja.

A buyer at a stall selling diyas at Kumartuli

Cartonfuls of beautifully coloured ones have been the attraction for a long time. But in recent years, the use of bright colours and creative designs have increased the attraction for Diwali diyas. They come in different shapes, sizes and colours and are a treat to the eyes. “The diyas are made at Duttapukur in North 24 Parganas and start coming to the market from around Durga Puja. We have to stock up in advance so that we can start selling in time,” said Pradip Paul, whose shop Kartick Chandra Paul, is a wholesale hub for diyas and all other types of clay items at Kumartuli.

A plate with 33 diyas

According to the vendors, it’s the same new designs coming in new colours. However, a few new items can surely be spotted in the market. “This year I collected a new design that is a round plate of 33 diyas. Its huge and will look gorgeous when all the diyas are lit,” said Bishal, a retailer on the road. Another new attractive design is the diya that is in the shape of a mangal ghot.