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Photographer's Note

The Story of Rajkumar
This boy is Rajkumar. Rajkumar means the Prince.

Rajkumar is 12 years old. He is a resident of Ketugram of Katoa police station in Bardhaman district of West Bengal. I met him while he was playing Kanshi, a metallic musical instrument played with a piece of wood, at Bagberia. He was assisting the Dhak (a kind of traditional drums) player (not in the pic). Bagberia is a village in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.

Rajkumar is a student of 5th standard. He likes studying but loves to play. His father also plays dhak and is a shoemaker by profession. Both of them go to work in the fields during some part of the year also to earn their food.

Rajkumar has crossed some 150 kms as their team of three reached this village. They had a contract with the villagers to play dhak and kanshi during 5 days of Durga Puja. He is the juniormost member of his team. The value of the contract with the team is Rs. 2000 (about USD 45). Rajkumar will get Rs. 300 (about USD 6.5), food and shelter for five days, and may be a set of dress or some extra money if they can please the villagers with their music.

To me, Rajkumar is the Face of Durga Puja, 2004.

Tech : Border + Sharpened

* More about Durga Puja and Dhak are available from these links.

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Additional Photos by Kausik Das (kaud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 360 W: 58 N: 439] (1840)
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