Kingdom of Cards

The celebrated Bengali author, Rabindranath Tagore, wrote Tasher Desh (Kingdom of Cards) in 1933, twenty years after he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is a short story loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, drawing parallels with the struggle for political independence in India before the Second World War. The Mayur Vihar Durga Puja Committee obviously have had great fun using the imagery of a pack of playing cards, making a house of cards as their pandal.

Having said this, I can see there is a contrast between the blood-thirsty Queen of Hearts (“Off with his head!”) and the Super Warrior Durga, destroying the armies of evil, chopping off the head of Mahishasura. Here are some selected photographs.

The outside of the pandal resembles Tagore’s house.

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It says “No alcohol”, but this King looks a bit squiffy to me.

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I am not sure why there are butterflies fluttering around the ceiling.

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The walls were all playing cards, too.

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On the left side of the “nave” the Goddess was displayed with her family. Here a priest is offering some food and gifts.

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Down in the “chancel”, there was a group of devotees singing and playing instruments.

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I don’t find the sponsorship and adverts too off-putting. After all, money makes the world go around, even at festival times. Here you can even take out a Puja Day Loan.

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3 Replies to “Kingdom of Cards”

  1. Like looking into a mirror when I saw the King of Hearts. However if a homicidal queen turns up with a hit team of knaves armed with flamingo’s turns, whilst a smiling sky high cat sits up a tree, its every Hatter for themselves.

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