DOCUMENTING PATACHITRA by Md INTAJ ALI
DOCUMENTING PATACHITRA by Md INTAJ ALI
Editors Note: Md Intaj Ali is a young lad from Dubrajpur, Birbhum, not exactly connected with Visva Bharati University, but deeply familiar with Santiniketan. I came into contact with Intaj, basically while working on Joydev Mela, Santhal Dances, Patachitras and similar related stories. Intaj by that time already had already documented several features of Baul & Fakir songs, some typical village songs of Birbhum & Burdwan district, Tribal dances, Patachitra and the famous ‘Mama Bhagne Pahar’ of Dubrajpur out of his own interest. He is always looking for topics deeply ingrained in folk and tribal psyche of India. Intaj is now at Hyderabad, pursuing his higher studies in Hyderabad University. After going through the recent article on Patachitra in this website ‘Muktodhara’; he immediately contacted me for sharing some of his video documentation on Patachitra- and we are just too happy to put them in our site. We appreciate Md Intaj Ali’s interest and insight; and feel great to come in contact with the face of young India.
Intaj- you are always warmly welcome in our site ‘Muktodhara’. Thanking you immensely-Shubhahsida.
FOREWORD BY Md INTAJ ALI:
Storytelling tradition in Bengal consists of different art forms. As for example stories can be represented through Painting, Dance and Songs. Moreover stories can exist in different forms – visual, abstract, oral and written. Story-telling tradition can be judged as a living human treasure which is a true representation of culture. Patachitra is one of the forms of story-telling through painting. It belongs to the oral tradition .It had been expanded by people through generations to generations among the patuas to put the stories in a live form. It has great impact in the societies as well as culture.
Patachitra is one of the ancient folk arts of West Bengal. It can be defined as a kind of narration through painting.So it is not just about painting rather it is a narration of story. That story can be gathered from ancient religious epics or from day to day social issues. It is very difficult to trace its origin and development through the pages of history. Some researchers opine that its origin can be traced back to more than 2500 years ago in the ancient age. Even it was extensively used in narrating the Epics and Puranas. Through that we can understand its significance in the art and culture and its antiquity. Patachitra stands in between painting and poetry, music and story. They earn their livelihood by visiting different village fairs and festivals in the cities. Their subjects include not only the Sufi traditions, Ramayana, Purana or the religious epics but also social issues like the Tsunami, the September 11th attacks, the Kashmir earthquake, the Gujarat earthquake, sanitation, and bloody Hindu/Muslim religious riots, HIV/AIDS and so on. Patuas generally apply natural eco-friendly colours, which they make from various trees, leaves, flowers and clay in their surroundings available to them. Another interesting fact about this painting is that it has a great resemblance with Santali Jadu Pata paintings or the magical paintings.
Gradually this unique art form is decaying due to lack of promotional endeavor and advancement of the latest technology in the field of art. Complete disappearance of this unique art will not only be a major setback to the Bangla culture but also to the entire world. But with little official effort to save it, very unfortunately these unique art of storytelling are dying a slow death. Now the question is how can one preserve such oral traditional folk art? One can preserve and conserve such oral tradition by promoting the slogan like art for life’s sake and art for livelihood.
THE VIDEO LINKS IN U-TUBE (loaded by Md Intaj Ali for all of us on this occassion):
BRIEF BIO DATA of Md INTAJ ALI
Md Intaj Ali is M.Phil Research Scholar in Comparative Literature in Centre for Comparative Literature; University of Hyderabad . His thesis is on Comparative Literature entitled: “Revisiting and Reinterpreting Baul in the Contemporary Context”. His areas of interest are:Translation Studies, Comparative Literature, Culture Studies, Film Studies, Folk culture, Documentary making, Tribal Studies and so on. He has presented research-papers in a number of National & International Seminars on several topics related to his areas of interest. His research paper titled “Intersemiotic Translation of Emotion: An Encounter of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay and Satyajit Ray” is published in the book ‘Trends in English Language Teaching: The Changing Landscape of English’ by Commonwealth Publisher, New Delhi with ISBN number 978-81-311-0382-1 in 2012. Another paper titled “Representation of Indian History through Tran-creation with special Reference to Qurratulain Hyder’s The River of Fire” is published in the book “History in Literature –Literature As History-The Issue Revisited” by Levant Books , Kolkata with ISBN number 978-93-80663-50-0 in 2012.