A Portrait of Rural Bengal.

This if for the Biggest Real Estate Show in West Bengal organized by AGO plus a flagship brand of AGO (Web Development India)

Long before Job Charnock dropped anchor at the village of Sutanati, in 1690, and laid the foundations of Calcutta, Bengal was there to stand as land of great diversity. The soil witnessed the rich history floating through the years gone by. It is a state that has seen it all - the agile Dravidians who reigned 4000 years ago to the red coloured battle grounds of Plassey and then the British Raj and the echo of Swadeshi (independence) movement.

Every thing is different here... the people in their 'dhoti-puunjabi' style reflecting true 'bonediyana' (opulence), the food that relishes the taste buds until the rich aroma evaporates from the palate, a language that is as sweet as honey, a literature that can boast of a Nobel Prize coupled with the zeal that ignites fire in every soul. It is a place that goes fervent about football as well as about politics, people who are as enthusiastic in their religious festivities as in celebrating their bards.
West Bengal, 'the queen of all' is a dream in itself. The culture of west Bengal in every pulse of it shows its exuberance in the modus vivendi of Bengalis.

If today we can look through our colonial past ,beyond palaces of British, churches of Dutch and Hazarduari of Nawabs , still the old rural Bengal with her quiet placid beauty , with her affectionate healing touch of old charm will enthrall us.

Our own eternal Bengal with her Rarh bhumi - red earth, with her Baishnab Padabali, bhatiyali gan, with her Brotokatha, Baro mashe tero Parbon ( thirteen festivals in twelve months) , with her Agomoni, bhaiphonta ( Bhaiya duj) spreads her lap like a mother does for her son . It is an assurance that there are ups and downs in life but the basic fabric will remain same, it is the ever flowing stream of life, of Bangla and Bangali.

Here we have shown the soul of rural Bengal with her cultural facet through the beautiful painting style of Bengal School.

The move started in early 1900. By that time British rule was in all out attempt to eradicate the cultural identity of their colony and to counter that Nationalist movement was in full swing. The rulers used to look down upon the simple yet romantic Bengal art against Realistic European Art. Bengal School took the challenge and joined hand to revive the lost glory of old Indian Art.

In 1854, the first Industrial Art Society was set up in Calcutta by Rajendralal Mitra.(who happened to be my ancestor, great uncle of Panchanan Mitra who is a grandfather ) Soon it was converted into the Calcutta Government College of Art. This first notable `movement' to re-ignite India’s art was initiated by artist like Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, D.P. Roy Choudhury, A. K. Haldar, K. Venkatappa, Samarendranath Gupta, Kshitindranath Mazumdar, Sarada Ukil and M.A.R. Chugtai and Jamini Roy.
The main traits of the work in this school are the artist's sources of inspiration, themes derived from mythology and rural lifestyles.

However, not all artists were prepared to sub serve the demands of the prevailing isms. Jamini Roy, taking a more individualized stance, turned his gaze onto the immediate reality around him. It is his studies of the Santhal tribals, with their sharp angular lines and clear colours, which indicated the possible direction that must be taken to discover an indigenous idiom and sensibility. His art also resembles with Kalighat patachitra which is a local trend of painting prevalent throughout the late 18th and the whole of the 19th century centred around Calcutta's Kalighat temple.
This style originated after colonial rule had destroyed the equilibrium of Bengal village life and after the village Patuas began losing their livelihood. As a result, Patuas from the vicinities of Calcutta started to throng around Kalighat temple and started selling paintings of to devotees and pilgrims. Initially the Patuas painted traditional religious subjects, but the contact with urban life made them look for contemporary and secular subjects. The life of the English people and more interestingly, the depiction of the life of the Calcutta Babus, became more popular items. The Patuas reflected in their paintings the incoherence of the urban life with an extraordinary sense of humour. Kalighat Patachitras derived definite inspirations from folk dolls and statuettes. They have become famous for the beauty of their undulated flowing lines, their particular technique of achieving modulation, and their amazing sense of observation, simplification and proportion.

We believe people will enjoy the glory of dhansiriti that never fades and let them unfold the dusk of rural Bengal and recite:

Amidst a vast meadow the last time when I met her
I said: 'Come again a time like this
if one day you so wish
twenty five years later.'
This been said, I came back home.
After that, many a time, the moon and the stars,
from field to field have died, the owls and the rats
searching grains in paddy fields on a moonlit night
fluttered and crept! - shut eyed
many times left and right
have slept
several souls! - awake kept I
all alone - the stars on the sky
travel fast
faster still, time speeds by.
Yet it seems
Twenty-five years will forever last.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:28 AM