The magazine of the photo-essay
November/December 2022 issue
Mukhosh (The Mask)
A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous! Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
Heavenly wisdom that the creator granted to us humans made us superior to all other beings. Unfortunately, we seldom fail to realize the powers of this rare blessing. To resist the atrocity and cunningness of today's world, we often choose to slip on a pseudo face or a mask, Mukhosh as we call it in Bengal. Mukhosh, or the mask, symbolizes the gloom that is looming large and literally ruling our existence. A face that is ingenuine and is a vicious epitome of the complex dilemma between our mind and the soul. To outrun each other in today's world of urbanization and progress, we are constantly lured towards these impure perspectives that seemingly help us to stay ahead in the viral rat race called life. We unknowingly fall victim to this cynicism that is destroying mankind by slowly eroding our virtuous souls. This invisible devil in the form of jealousy, selfishness, and fear of the unknown will do us no good, and eventually, we will lose ourselves completely. The only way out is to comprehend and confront our fears with faith and divinity to reinstate our sacred destiny. This is a tiny effort to study the nature of these demons that are lurking behind the mask and ways to get rid of them indelibly. This is a result of several years of passionate study and documentation of the lives and livelihood of some artists who practice a semi-classical Indian dance form with martial, tribal and folk traditions. Commonly known as Chhau, masks form an integral part of the age-old traditional Chhau dance of Purulia. These dances as based on mythological tales, mainly of Goddess Durga who slayed the ruthlessly powerful demon Mahishashura to relieve Heaven from his endless torments. The acts end in a perfect note where goodness finally vanquishes all evil and peace prevails once again on this holy earth.
by Nivedita Dutta
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