Muslim artisan designs Mayan-inspired Durga Puja pandal in Guwahati

GUWAHATI | Updated: 20 October, 2023 4:17 pm IST
The Durga Puja idol crafted ingeniously by the Muslim sculptor

The sculptor Deep Ahmed shared that he gets emotional when Hindus come and worship the idols he has helped create

GUWAHATI: As Durga Puja is just around the corner, a Muslim man in Assam’s Guwahati has created a unique themed pandal. The man, Deep Ahmed, believes that his art transcends religion and caste and believes in making a meaningful contribution through his artistic work.

Speaking with The New Indian, Deep Ahmed shared that he gets emotional when Hindus come and worship the idols he has helped create. “For us religion is secondary as art is always a priority in our family. No one has ever stopped us and everyone has encouraged us to do our work,” he said.

Shedding light on how he is emotionally attached to his work, Ahmed said, “When people come to see our showcase and when we see them praying, we really get emotional and get inspired.” Ahmed further added that men in the locality have always come out to support him and his family.

 

His father Nuruddin Ahmed has been making Durga idols and pandals since the 1970s. He has inspired both his sons to take up the art form. “I have been working since the 1970s and now my sons have taken it forward and I feel really good,” Nuruddin Ahmed said. Ahmed emphasised that he had never faced opposition when he used to craft Durga deities in the past.

The young artist, Deep, has designed a Mayan theme Durga Puja pandal this year. The Bimala Nagar Durga Puja Committee has undertaken a project with the goal of presenting the way of life of this ancient civilisation that thrived more than 5,000 years ago.

“We have tried to construct Chichen Itza based on the Mayan Civilisation, which is one of the seven wonders of the world,” Deep said.

To create the intended atmosphere, they used fire lighting methods. The entire project has been allocated a budget of around Rs 30 lakh. The construction of the pandal itself is a masterpiece, incorporating a variety of materials including bamboo, plywood, dhari, and pati.

This year, Durga Puja starts on the sixth day of Sharad Navratri. It will be observed from October 20 to October 24. To house the magnificent statues of Maa Durga killing Mahishasura, pandals are erected every year across India.

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