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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Kolkata to get a taste of Pakistan this Puja

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 13, 2013
First Published: 11:12 IST(13/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:18 IST(13/9/2013)

After France and Australia, city revelers will now get to savour a slice of Pakistani culture and artwork during their jaunt across the pandals this Puja.

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Puja organisers at Nabin Pally of Hatibagan have tied up with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Kolkata, to showcase the famous ‘truck art’ of Pakistan during the festive days this year.

“Our effort will offer a slice of Pakistan to those who don’t get to visit there. The venture will help the people discover a new artwork not common in India,” Gauri Basu, adviser, ICCR Kolkata, told HT.

“We have always tried to showcase rare and dying artworks of Bengal during the festive season. Over the last few years, we have themed our Puja on such traditional artworks as lupto darushilpo (lost/dying woodcraft) and adi khadi (khadi work).

This year will see us go beyond borders and bring the famous truck art of Pakistan to visitors,” Shiv Shankar Maitra, president of the Nabin Pally Puja Committee, told HT.

The Puja organisers have already roped in three artists from across the border to lead the effort. Haider Ali, Muhammad Iqbal and Mumtaz Ahmed have been putting in strenuous hours to get the pandal ready in time.

“Our aim is to showcase the Pakistani truck art to visitors during the Durga Puja. We will model the pandal after a truck cabin and the inside works will feature a variety of our artworks in vibrant colours and patterns,” Haider Ali, who hails from Karachi, told HT.

Truck art features handdrawn patterns complete with lines from Urdu poems. The artwork is used to deck up trucks and other goods vehicles in Pakistan. The art form is also known for the bright and colourful floral patterns on the bodies of goods vehicles.


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