Every festival is incomplete without its decorations. When we talk of Durga Puja and its decorations we need to mention the use of thermocol (also known as ‘shola’ in Bengali). Thermocol is a synthetic petroleum product formed from the restructuring of polystyrene. This element is easily available and light in weight, so it is widely used in decorating purposes. Even in the 19th and 20th century the ornaments of Goddess Durga were popularly made of thermocol and was known as ‘Daker Saaj‘.
In my search for talent I came across a person who has chosen the thermocol art as his full time profession. It is almost twenty-one years that Mr.Sukhomoy Biswas is into this profession. Hence, here I am presenting his views regarding the profession.
Q) Why have you chosen this work as your profession?
It is our family tradition and I had the responsibility to carry forward the family tradition.
Q) These days the Daker Saaj on Goddess Durga is a rare thing to see! How do you manage to continue the profession till date?
Ya, thats true but on the other side the use of thermocol in pandal decorations have increased. So the condition has been balanced by the modern thoughts itself.
Q) How is the progress of the business in rest of the months?
We make most of our earnings on the festive months. Rest of the year we have orders to decorate parties. But the are not fixed so we have to depend on the festive months.
Q) Do you get worthy returns from your investments?
We don’t expect huge profits rather sometimes it becomes difficult for us to get back the invested money. No person in power think about our dilapidated conditions.
No matter what you are working on, but an artist is always an artist. People like Sukhomoy are working for the the society, to preserve its traditions but who knows how many years will people entertain these traditional art and will prefer their handmade decorations than the ones carved in machines!!