2020 came in as a horror upon the world. The pandemic affected the lives of billions, but the worst hit were those, who were already struggling to make ends meet. With no means of survival, migrant works across the country had to flee from the cities while facing immense hardships.
With no means of transport, available and affordable, their only choice was to walk; walk for miles and miles, and for days together.
They are no less than heroes, and what they did was anything but ordinary. And as a small gesture to celebrate this transcendent gesture, a Durga Puja Club in Kolkata replaced the traditional idol of Durga with a statue of a migrant worker and mother with her child.
Rintu Das, the artist behind the idea said,” The goddess is the woman who braved the scorching sun and hunger and penury along with her children. She is looking for food, water, and some relief for her children. Durga Puja was still months away. But the indomitable spirit of women walking home with children overwhelmed me. In my mind, they embodied the goddess.”
Along with the main idol, two other idols will be installed showing the migrant worker’s daughters walking right behind her. One will be carrying an owl and the other a duck.
A fourth sibling will also be seen who will have a head of an elephant, representing Ganesha. Together, all of them will be seen walking towards an image of Goddess Durga with 10 hands.
Durga Puja is not just about Goddess worship, it’s about looking for Goddesses among common people. And this year, Ma has arrived in the form of a migrant worker with her children.
By extension, it tells us that Durga is not just a mythological character, but an undying spirit that lives and breathes within you, me, and all of us.