A small neighbourhood in Kolkata is all set to celebrate the first ever Transgender Durga Puja that India will witness. The 27 year old, Udyami Yubak Brinda Puja, is one of the small-budget puja communities from West Bengal that rely on local household donations. Back in 2007, the donations turned out to be so low that they had to put in money from their own pockets to celebrate the festival.
In partnership with Pratyay Gender Trust, which is a local transgender persons’ collective, the puja community is going to be the first one ever to idolize the ‘transgender’ Durga deity. This Sunday, history will be made as the puja commences. The puja idol’s inspiration came from one of Shiva and Parvati’s form –‘Ardhanarishvara’. China Pal, who is the creator of the puja idol, is also the only woman potter from Kumortuli; north Kolkata’s traditional potter’s quarters. The sculpture of transgender Durga showcases a man on one half of the idol with a moustache, pectoral instead of a breast, smaller eyelash and a traditional dhoti.The other half is Durga itself.