Hall of Fame
Kumari Puja
Documentary 7th November, 2016

This is the nascent story of feminism, this is the story that has been embedded in the hearts and minds of several generations of the deep-rooted Bengali culture where we celebrate womanhood. I took the picture during the mandatory "Kumari Puja" ritual which takes place on the eighth day (Ashtami) of Durga Puja. This is the occasion when a girl child, who has yet not attained puberty, is chosen to be worshipped as the goddess for a day. There have been several controversies regarding the validity of Kumari Puja and the way the ritual has been a discriminatory source among children who compete to be the "Kumari". Also, the Brahminical stances are brought to the fore by such rituals. But all the negative aspects are washed off by the one and only attribute which our country perhaps forgets just as the girl grows into a woman, that is, the celebration of femininity. Society harms the girl child; kills them in the foetus, bans them from further studies or they become the prey of emotional and physical abuse, but they do not remember that this was the sex that they have been worshipping as goddesses since time immemorial. Kumari Puja is a hard hitting reminder of that fact.

About Photographer

Rajdeep Das
Rajdeep Das

A graduate with a BSc degree from Calcutta University, Rajdeep started doing photography driven by his passion for the art form. Capturing candid moments in the beginning, he found his keen interest in documenting different subjects, so as to tell the full story. Then he gradually took to Food Photography. A major role behind his interest in this genre was played by his indomitable love for food. He happens to be a genuine and hard core foodie. With this drive when he looked into the industry, to find that in this particular genre, especially in Kolkata, there is a vast scope as food photographers are very few in number. But his deep rooted passion for documenting subjects of human interest remains unchanged all this while. In a nutshell, Rajdeep is one such versatile photographer who can bring out mouthwatering food shots just after covering a heart wrenching reality or an all mechanical, hard core industrial shoot.