The article “The godmakers of Kumartuli” by Bishwanath Ghosh (September 18) was splendid. The creations of these artisans are indeed beautiful, but to learn that these men struggle hard to eke out a living is disquieting. What is remarkable is that this does not come in the way of them pursuing the family vocation. Their labour and single-minded attention to their task, oblivious of their surrondings was touching. The worshippers assembling during Durga Puja Festival at Kolkata would do well to reflect on the problems of these artisans who are in dire straits and see how best their lot could be improved.
The article on the life of the artisans was poignant. For the people of Kolkata, Durga Puja provides a carnival atmosphere and it is understandable that nothing else will be on their minds during the festival. However, it is sad that those who make the festival possible with their art and craft find it difficult to eke out a decent living. For all the deft touch, intricate work and masterly artistry, what these hapless artisans get in return is a pittance. It is all the more saddening to note that most of these artisans do not have any other vocation during the off season.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan,Srirangam
The article makes for an informative reading as it sheds light on the pathetic living conditions of the idol makers and the unbounded joy with which the residents of Kolkata celebrate Durga Puja every year. While the pomp and style associated with the celebration is understandable, we should not be oblivious to the hardship faced by the idol makers of Kumartuli. Artisans known for their exemplary skills of creativity and innovation are playing a pivotal role in protecting and preserving our rich tradition and culture. Without their hard labour, festivals such as these will struggle to retain their original flavour and colour. Concrete measures ensuring that artisans like these lead a life of dignity and prosperity is the need of the hour.
So much in a name
This is in reference to the article “Navigating names” by Geetha Ramanthan Bennett (September 18). Reading the witty article, I was reminded of my best friend, Anoop's surname — Vallabhajosyula and also the way my own surname is often mispronounced. While the writer could explain the various ways in which people mispronounced her name “Geetha”, I can't explain how my friends make my surname “Punyamurty” a ridicule!
All music is divine
The “Mine's better than yours” by Vijay Nagaswami (September 18) made interesting reading. Music, they say, is divine. Mellifluous music becalms troubled minds and relaxes tired nerves. Hence, the debate “Which music (Carnatic music or Western classical music or Hindustani classical music) is better?” is totally unwarranted. Normally, it's the egoism of human beings that gives rise to such unnecessary arguments and makes them restless. The moment they realise that taste or interest for anything varies from person to person (as the five fingers are not alike), peace dawns on them.