Tag: Sunil

shuktara 2015 Durga Puja - Sunil

Celebrate Durga Puja 2015 with shuktara!

Durga Puja is the biggest and most extravagant festival in Kolkata. For weeks everyone watches the pandals (temporary, fabricated structures) being slowly constructed. The one aspect common to all of them is a huge elaborate sculpture of the Hindu goddess Durga. During this Puja everyone at shuktara goes "pandal hopping" to view and enjoy the creative depictions of the goddess and her temporary home.

Sunil is never happier than when there is puja going on – and the biggest and best puja of all is DURGA PUJA!

Ashok
Pappu and Ashok
Pappu with Bapi, Ipshita and Rajesh
Ashok and friends
Lali with Minudi and Tamina
Prity
Ramesh, Sunil and Tamina with two of our mashis - Minu and Sabita
Ashok
Ramesh
Ashok
Rajesh
Lali
shuktara - Ramesh helps with Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma Puja on the roof

shuktara - Ramesh helps with Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma Puja is usually celebrated in the workplace and always on the roof of the shuktara boys house in Kolkata. Essentially this is a Puja where workers have their tools blessed. This is what Wikipedia says about this festival:
It is generally celebrated on 17 or 18 September in Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Tripura. The festival is observed primarily in factories and industrial areas, often on the shop floor. As a mark of reverence the day of worship is marked not only by the engineering and architectural community but by artisans, craftsmen, mechanics, smiths, welders, industrial workers, factory workers and others. They pray for a better future, safe working conditions and, above all, success in their respective fields. Workers also pray for the smooth functioning of various machines. It is customary for craftsmen to worship their tools in his name, refraining from using the tools while doing so. Modern electronic servers are also worshipped for their smooth functioning.

Special statues and pictures of Vishwakarma are normally installed in every workplace and factory. All workers gather in one common place and perform the puja .

Below are more photos from shuktara's rooftop celebration...

Rakhi at shuktara

Every year in August the 'sisters' of shuktara come to the boys home and tie rakhi on the wrists of their 'brothers' to show their affection. Across most of India the same thing happens - with brothers and sisters who are related by blood but also when that strong family bond is felt between unrelated people. It is a celebration that everyone at shuktara can participate in, and everyone enjoys this festival immensely.

[from Wikipedia] Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means "the tie or knot of protection". The word Raksha means protection, whilst Bandhan is the verb to tie. It is an ancient Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters. The sister performs a Rakhi ceremony, then prays to express her love and her wish for the well being of her brother; in return, the brother ritually pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances.

The festival is also an occasion to celebrate brother-sister like family ties between cousins or distant family members, sometimes between biologically unrelated men and women. To many, the festival transcends biological family, brings together men and women across religions, diverse ethnic groups and ritually emphasizes harmony and love. It is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Śrāvaṇa, and typically falls in August every year.

shuktara - Anna, Sunil and Bablu Lal 2006

Anna, Sunil and Bablu Lal in 2006

shuktara - Anna, Sunil and Bablu Lal 2006

Hard to believe this photo of Anna, Sunil and Bablu Lal was taken in 2006. Both Anna and Sunil had been with shuktara for seven years, since 1999; Bablu came later.

We thought it was a photo worth sharing with you - these three young men have more serious disabilities and would not be able to live on their own. They will always have a home at shuktara.

shuktara

The Shuktara Cakes team goes to Shankarpur

cojean in Paris who sponsor Shuktara Cakes Training Centre have sent Lau over to Kolkata to work with the team for one year. As they have had a busy week and Lau just arrived, they decided to go to Shankarpur to get to know each other and plan the year ahead.

Of course, any trip away means that Sunil automatically gets included!
Here are some of the photos they took…

shuktara - Sunil
Sunil having fun in the waves

shuktara
Sanjay and Pappu
shuktara sanjay
Sanjay on the beach

 

 

 

Saraswati Puja at shuktara 2015

Saraswati is the goddess of wisdom and learning. Every year the celebration at shuktara is anticipated by everyone with great excitement. An elaborate statue of the goddess is chosen and taken to the house. On the roof a home for the goddess is constructed the night before with fresh flowers – this year there were pink egg cartons also to add to the festive atmosphere. On the day of Saraswati Puja everyone puts on their best clothes and participate in the ritual of the goddess by chanting Sanskrit and throwing handfuls of fresh flower petals to accentuate the prayers.

shuktara - Saraswati Puja 2015
Bablu and Moni
shuktara - Saraswati Puja 2015
Lali
shuktara - Saraswati Puja 2015
Muniya – first time in a sari
shuktara - Saraswati Puja 2015
Prity and Tamina
shuktara - Saraswati Puja 2015
Sanjay, Raja Singh and Raja Mohan Das
shuktara - Saraswati Puja 2015
Sunil and the goddess
shuktara - Saraswati Puja 2015
Tamina, Muniya and Lali