Sculpt­ing divin­ity

India Today - - SIMPLY KOLKATA -

Meet China Pal, one of the first women idol­maker in the city

THERE ARE ONLYA HAND­FUL OF WOMEN CLAY IDOL­MAK­ERS IN KOLKATA. CHINA PAL, 43, WAS ONE OF THE FIRST WOMEN TO EN­TER THE PRO­FES­SION 20 YEARS AGO. NOW, OR­DERS HAVE DOU­BLED, BUT NOT DRA­MAT­I­CALLY, BE­CAUSE CHINA STILL PREFERS TO WORK SOLO. TH­ESE PHOTOGRAPHS SHOW HER WORK­ING IN HER STU­DIO AS DURGA PUJA DRAWS NEAR

“A lot of puja pan­dals ask for ad­vance de­liv­er­ies and I use the fire to dry the idols faster,” says China.

Photographs by SU­BIR HALDER

China makes “akchali pra­tima”. Or the kinds of idols where Durga and her four chil­dren and the asura are bound by one back­ground.

China car­ry­ing the head of Durga to mount it on an idol. “It’s the bless­ings of Durga her­self that sees me through,” she says.

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