Saturday, November 18, 2017

Long Drives...

Travelling is in my blood, veins, soul, everywhere. When I cannot go places, I just keep walking on my own. I come across new bends. I re-energise. I cannot live without seeing new places, new cultures, people, history, life... 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Memories of Jhargram

One August Weekend, we hit the roads with our trusted friend, for a trip to unwind ourselves amidst the jungles surrounding Jhargram in West Midnapore. What transpired is captured in this two minute video. The stay at the Jhargram Tourist complex was a memorable one. The pleasures of travelling is amazing. The freshness it brings especially if you hit the less travelled paths, lasts for a long time.

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
August 5th, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Home Town's Jagaddhatri Fervour 2017

I was trying to cope up with some personal disappointments taking a temporary break from work when the city where I live, was celebrating the Jagaddhatri festival. I spent a wandering time during the period trying to capture a few moments and soak into the festivity and make amends with what I had been facing in life.

The small suburb of Chandannagar gets under a huge mess of garbage and sewage while coping up with the festivities of the Jagaddhatri Puja and the footfall associated with it. On top of that, the traffic discordance and massive encroachments make it difficult to live here during these festive days. However, the locals don’t bother much about all this as the essence of festivities, the cacophony, the lights, make life enjoyable albeit temporarily... Here is my take on it this year...

Now the most brutal part... these little kids will in any moment from now, be ruthlessly murdered with severed heads from their bodies, in the name of the ugliest form of religion...

The Festivities Draw to a Close...

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
Chuchura Hooghly
30th October, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Taste of a Different Durgotsav in Rural Bengal - Hatserandi, Birbhum

I had a wonderful opportunity to witness the Pata Durga Puja of Rural Bengal which has been a traditional feat in the particular geo cultural territories of Birbhum, Bankura, Bardhaman and some parts of Midnapore over ages. Situated about eight miles from Bolpur, this quaint village is a wonderful place to visit. At the entrance lies a huge lake which is where all the families celebrating Pata Durga Puja in their households gather on the morning of Maha Saptami for performing the rituals with  adorned palanquins. One can see the ruins of numerous terracotta temples across the village many of which are in a dilapidated state, however the very few which has been restored, do not showcase its original glory any longer. The speciality of this village lies in its uniqueness of Durga Puja Celebration. The Durga Idols here are not what we generally see however are painted on a frame covered with cloth by painters who have been doing this since generations now. The beauty of the images, the uniqueness of style, is a tradition worth savouring. I feel privileged to present this documentary on Hatserandi's unique Durga Puja.

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
17th September, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dhaka Diaries... The sleeping figures amidst night long ruckus at Kawran Bazar

Kawran Bazar in Dhaka is an epitome of chaos, collision and noise. This 17th century built market named after a Marwari trader in undivided India, bustles every day and night especially when truck loads of all kinds of fruits, vegetables etc are dumped here from all across Bangladesh and segregated via further distribution channels.

Amidst such activities at the dead end of the night and wee hours of the day, tired figures that of the traders, coolies etc who make a living there, can be seen. I have tried to capture these odd men out who actually do not represent the vibrancies of this huge wholesale market at the heart of the capital city of Bangladesh.

Although insignificant to the irony here that I wish to portray, the exuberance of these people did create a long lasting impact within myself that I shall never forget. The experience I have had during this trip to Bangladesh out of a golden opportunity to attend a workshop conducted by a renowned documentarian and above all, a wonderful person, will be long cherished.

The Explorer's Quest... A Visit to an ancient Kali Temple in Mahanad Hooghly, Bengal

Visited once again, this beautiful 187 year old temple in the vicinities of my hometown at a village known as Mahanad, Hooghly today. An affluent resident of the village, Krishna Chandra Neogy, is said to have built this temple after having a Divine Dream of Goddess Brahmamoyee way back in 1830 A D and the tradition is well maintained by his successors to this day. History tells us that the Rani Rashmani of Janbazar Calcutta was greatly inspired by the structure of the temple along with the deity so much so that the Famous Dakshineswar temple which she later built on the banks of the Ganga had a striking similarity.

আমার জানলা দিয়ে একটুখানি আকাশ দেখা যায় | My Window to the World

আমার জানলা দিয়ে একটুখানি আকাশ দেখা যায় | একটু বর্ষা একটু গ্রীষ্ম একটুখানি শীত, সেই একটুখানি চৌকো ছবি আঁকড়ে  ধরে রাখা  আমার জানলা দিয়ে আমার পৃথিবী | সেই পৃথিবীতে বিকেলের রং হেমন্তে হলুদ সেই পৃথিবীতে পাশের বাড়ির কান্না শোনা যায় পৃথিবীটা বড়ই ছোট আমার জানালায়  আমার জানলা দিয়ে আমার পৃথিবী |
সেই পৃথিবীতে বাঁচব বলেই যুদ্ধ করি রোজ | একটুখানি বাঁচার জন্য হাজার আপোষ | সেই পৃথিবীর নাম কোলকাতা কি ভারত জানি না , তুমি তোমার পৃথিবীর নামটা জানো কি? তুমি বলবে আমার বেনিয়া পুঁকুর, তোমার বেহালা | তুমি গন্ডি কেটে দেখিয়ে দেবে পশ্চিম বাংলা | হয়ত কেরালার আঁকাশ এর একটু বেশি নীল , তবু সেটাও কি নয় আমার পৃথিবী?
আমার জানলা দিয়ে যায়না দেখা ইসলামবাদ  | শুধু দেখি আমি রোজ আমার পাশের বাড়ির ছাদ | একটা হলদে শাড়ী শুকোচ্ছে আজ মজার রংটা নীল আজ পৃথিবীটা বড়ই রঙীন |
কেউ জানলা খুলে এলাবামায় বাংলা গান   গায় | কেউ পড়ছে কোরান বোসে তার জাপানি জানলায় | তুমি হিসেব করে বলতে পারো প্যরিসের সময় কিন্তু কার জানালায় কে কি দেখে হিসেব করা যায় কি বল? মনের জানলা আছে , মনের জানলা দিয়ে তুমি বেড়িয়ে পরতে পারো , মক্সিকোতে বসে বাজানো যায় গিটার | কোথায় তুমি টানবে বল দেশের সীমারেখা , আমার জানলা দিয়ে গোটা পৃথিবী |
তাই জানলা আমার মানেনা আজ ধর্মের বিভেদ , জানলা জাতীয়তাবাদের পরওয়া করেনা | জানলা আমার পূব না পশ্চিমের দিকে খোলা  জানলা সেতো নিজেই জানেনা |
জানলা আমার সকালবেলায় শোনায় ভৈরবী , আর সন্ধে বেলায় শোনায় জনি কল্তরিন | গানের সুরে রেষা রেশি দেশা দেশী নেই
আমার গানের জানলা গোটা পৃথিবী |

The Lyrics above is from a popular song sung by Anjan Dutta.

The Pictures are what I see on a Rain Filled Monsoon Morning from the Luxury of our beloved home "Chirosakha" while I sit in my room and enjoy the rains dripping down the thirsty leaves of the Bel Tree which kisses my palm as I stretch out my hands through the grill, to reach out to them, my trusted friends..

02nd July, 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Abandoned Treasures

Came across this ancient Shiva Temple while driving through a remote Village named Tungur in Pingla, West Midnapore last afternoon. Tried to ask a few locals about its history however they didn't seem to know much about it except to exclaim that it is centuries old. Keep wondering how many such structures that are mute testimonies to our history and culture, lie in such dilapidated state in our country, beyond recognition ... situated amidst dense woods with crickets blasting out even in broad daylight, the structure attracted me greatly. #pingla #westmidnapore #tungur #westbengaltourismphotography

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
Chuchura, Hooghly

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I Met My Beloved Author....

It Was a Moment of Great Pleasure today to be able to meet Legendary writer from the hills of Landour, Mr Ruskin Bond, at the Tata Steel Literary Meet for Children at Victoria Memorial, Kolkata. I had got two previously purchased books which he was kind enough to autograph for me, I wish I could let him know the amount of inspiration that I drew from his writing. His simplistic philosophy of Life which came up in his fiction and non fiction, short stories, verses etc gave me renewed inspiration & vigour to live a purposeful life. What an asset has he been to mankind.

Thanking him will obviously never be enough to justify the value he had brought into my 33 year old life. Life today unfortunately is much complicated in many ways. Turning through the pages of his writing has taken me back to the cherished world of simplicity and good humour along with great philosophy from which I have drawn huge inspiration to bounce back with rejuvenated energies. If there exists Godliness in this world, it exists in his writing and in the simplistic yet deep philosophy attached to it. He is a role model to me. I wish and pray to God that Ruskin keeps writing and sharing his thoughts forever and ever. Love, Regards and warmth from the core of my heart...

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay

Charak Festivities in Hooghly West Bengal, 14th April 2017. Last day of Chaitra 1423

Charak puja is a traditional Bengali festival celebrated mainly in the rural areas. A festival dedicated strictly to penance, Charak puja stands unique in the scenario of Bengali festivals. The groups of men and women, who take up this 'Brata' or the time bound ritual, have to go through a month long fasting from sunrise to sunset, live strictly on fruits & perform the daily worship in order get the blessings of the lord. On the day of the 'Charak' or the 'Gajan', as it is also called, bamboo stages are made on bamboo poles, the height ranging from 10 to 15 feet. What follows is a macabre yet fascinating. After the month long penance the devotees step up the high bamboo stage & hurl themselves forward. The ground on which they fall is embedded with glass, thorns, knives & other devious weapons. But lo! The devotee escapes unhurt! The blessing of the god keeps him safe from all the possible harms. The devotees have other ways to show the god's blessings. They impale their body parts without feeling the pain. The festival not only reflects the blind faith but also the eagerness to accept penance on the road to achieve salvation.