Mahalaya, descending of Goddess Durga towards the earth, Navratra celebration, Durga puja – all together festivities around!! It’s an auspicious time, time for the new moon! Personally, for me, Devi Durga is always a source of energy, strength, power, valour! I feel festivity around her all the time. So I thought why not turn pages of my old notebook and prepare a piece during this festive season! We find the depiction of Durga in various art forms, paintings, sculptures, textiles, etc. In my collection, I have one scroll depicting Durga. It is a small scroll depicting three stories, though stories are not connected, unlike other such scrolls. The scroll I am talking about is known as Pat. I collected this Pat from my previous workplace where a workshop was organized and I purchased one from a participant.
Pat is a narrative tradition of Bengal. Artists, the Chitrakar(s) paint the scroll and the Patua(s) narrate the stories. Stories are mainly from Ramayan or Mahabharat but contemporary themes like the French revolution, environmental pollution, etc. are also found painted nowadays. Stories are usually painted vertically in chronological order and the narrator sings/narrates while unrolling the Pat. India has an age-old tradition of narrating stories through the use of various objects/mediums. Pat is one of those through which people are entertained as well as educated.
The Pat from my collection (refer to the images) though vertical, but as mentioned stories are not connected. Since it is with only 3 blocks of stories, for safekeeping/preservation I have mounted and framed it instead of rolling.
May the stories/narratives of Devi Durga reach you all through Pat or various other such scrolls during this festive season!