My next stop was at Chandralok Cinema hall, located in Chittaranjan Park only. I knew it was DDA Park behind G block of C.R. Park. But when I went out looking for it, I could not find it. So I asked some local men, if the idol makers have stopped coming here. He said no, and showed me the gate, inside of which the idol makers were making the idols. I entered the ground, which I expected to be empty, but was filled with raw materials required to build the idols. Walking further I found the tent, inside of which there were hundreds of straw idols placed in four rows. As the rows of incomplete idols ended, I discovered the idol makers sitting
in a circle working with straw. I told them about my intention of interviewing them, they seemed pretty comfortable, and gave me a humble nod to go forth with it.
In conversation with Bhajan Ghosh, an Idol Maker from Chandralok, Delhi
Working with the straw, he seemed interested to make a conversation. A friendly person, he was responding quickly and even asking me some questions. Following is my interview with Bhajan Ghosh.
“So what are you preparing?”
“We are using straw to prepare different body part of the idol. This will act as the base.”
“Can you give me a brief on how you prepare the idols?”
“Firstly the base is prepared using straw. Then it is made to stand on a bamboo stand. Layers and layer of clay is applied on the straw base, until the desired shape of idols is formed.”
“Where do you come from?” I asked.
“I have come from Krishna Nagar in West Bengal.”
“Oh! So where do you take training for making idols?”
“I got trained in my village Krishna Nagar only.”
“How long you stay here to make the idols?”
“I stay here for four to five months to prepare the idols.”
“What do you do the rest of the year for living?”
“I am an idol maker only, this is the only skill I know. So back in village I work as artisan only.”
“How many of you work together?”
“Currently, we are seventeen of us working together. There is no head artisan, only our boss who pays us. That’s it.”
“How many people are there in your family?”
“Seven. We are a big family. No one else is an idol maker. It’s only me.”
“So you like this job?”
“Yes! I come near to god for job, what is better than that?”
“So you are satisfied with the income?”
“It is not very well paid job. But it’s manageable.”