Basant Panchami was celebrated yesterday in Calcutta, heralding the arrival of spring. Homes, shops, schools and colleges, all celebrate Basant Panchami by worshipping Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning and of the Arts.
For several weeks before the festival, the potters at Kumartuli work hard to create beautiful idols of the goddess. I love the unfinished look of the statues, when they have no paint. Pure magic with clay and straw and water.
Saraswati is always depicted with a veena, a plucked stringed instrument that is mentioned in the natyashastra. In the photo below you can see how the hands are a different colour. That's because the hands are made separately, and attached after the base structure dries.
After the basic structure is completed, details are added. Crown, wavy hair, jewellery, these add beauty to the figures.