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Navratri 2017: ‘Money tree’, theme around note ban, showcased this Durga Puja in Kolkata


Kolkata: Artists decorate a puja pandal with old demonetized currency for upcoming Durga puja festival, in Kolkata. PTI Photo

Kolkata: The fantasy of plucking crisp currency notes off a “money tree” comes alive at a Durga puja celebration here, while raising the question if money is indeed eternal or has a time span like the humans who use it.

Themed ‘Notebandi Na Manush Bandi’ (Is it a note ban or keeping the public captive), the pandal (marquee) of Mitra Sanghati, a well-known club in north Kolkata, mirrors a run-down house with a 20 feet tree growing in its courtyard. And this tree with its spreading branches which have currency notes growing out of them in place of leaves is billed as the prime attraction.

“The tree is a physical representation of the ‘money tree’. It is crafted from straw, natural fibres such as jute and replicas of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes make up its leaves,” Mridul Biswas, Joint Secretary of the organisation, told IANS.

Elaborating on the concept of ‘money tree’, he said: “When we ask a person for something, sometimes that person questions sarcastically ‘do I happen to have a money tree’. So the idea revolves around this figment of imagination of having all the money one desires.”

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Placed at vantage locations inside the Rs 12 lakh-marquee are framed portraying how various groups of people dealt with demonetisation that was announced on November 8 last year.

“There are the corporates as well as the common man. Suddenly money became nothing. So the question arose: Does money also have a lifespan just like us,” said Biswas.

He said the organisers had written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee apprising her of the idea.

“Since she was the first one to speak against demonetisation and for the common man, we apprised her of our theme. We have received a letter from the Chief Minister wishing us all the best,” Biswas added.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has been on the warpath with the Central government over demonetisation. She has criticised the Centre for the decline in GDP growth, saying her apprehension of “drastic decline in productivity” due to demonetisation had proved to be true.