Fighting pandemic in artist’s way: Chalk stick turns into Ma Durga

Fighting pandemic in artist’s way: Chalk stick turns into Ma Durga

Ashim Kumar Pramanik

BEHRAMPORE, 29 OCT: In an innovative way to deal with the ordeals of staying indoors round the clock during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown days, an artist decided to write on white chalks which are mainly used for writing on blackboard at schools. And the result was a miniature sculpture of Ma Durga made out of a single chalk stick.

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A resident of Behrampore, 35 year-old Sayantan Majumdar is in the habit of using the white chalks to write on the blackboards because he is a school teacher by profession. But due to the ample span of leisure during the pandemic, he picked up the same chalks to write upon and made his foray into the domain of sculpture.

With a safety pin firmly held between his thumb and index fingers, the young artist kept carving the finger-shaped chalk stick till the visible image of Ma Durga came up on it. “Happy with the miniature sculpture of Goddess Durga, my mother inspired me to make more such images to accomplish a full frame of traditional Durga idol flanked by Lakshmi, Ganesha, Kartika and Saraswati”, said Majumdar who is not a professional sculpto

“Armed with patience and my mother’s blessings, I completed all the additional images including Kalabou (veiled plantain plant which is said to be the wife of Lord Ganesha), holy urn, Siuli flowers etc. Then with adhesive I put the images together on a porcelain plate (which is slightly bigger than a postcard). The miniature frame of Durga idol and her companions, as is found on the altar of Durga puja pandal, was thus ready. Significantly, the artwork is not for sale because it is the result of my love’s labour”, the young artist said.

Majumdar has already authored a book on Rabindranath Tagore’s literature. “I also wrote the preface to the book –‘Sristi and Kristi’ –which is written by the renowned scientist, Bikash Sinha”, he said. To make the most of leisure hours during the pandemic this year, he sculpted wax images of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra.

“Be it Covid-19 disaster or not, I always feel an urge for art. At a time when I was posted at a primary school (Hariharpara 43 Sahajadpur junior basic school), I re-created Chhatimtala of Santiniketan there at the school compound. I also planted trees like Amloki, Malati etc. intending to make the greenery there featuring the imageries found in Rabindranath Tagore’s poem –‘Esechhe Sharat, Himer Parash’”, he added.   

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