Bongmade: A slice of Bengal at your doorstep

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The concept of Bongmade is to reach out to people living across the globe. Next in line is an experimental work on the tribal art forms of Bengal

Somreet Bhattacharya
Kolkata

Young yet rooted, old yet fashionable epitomize the Cosmopolitan Bengali. Re-inventing the new through the eyes of the past has been the hallmark of Bengal Renaissance since late 18th century. Progressive approach in almost every sphere — science, arts, culture, religion, language and literature, the quest for adopting the new with a blend of the past has been constant since the days of Colonial Bengal.

The tradition of contemporizing the old and stitching it with the new brings together a group of people, not to mention quintessential Bengalis, in experimenting work on various art forms. The result: Bongmade. “Our experiment is to make traditional yet quirky art forms. The fusion of Mexican art with that of Bengali is on the table,” says Anindya Sain of Bongmade. “Our idea is to take modern Bengal to world stage,” the Economics post-graduate from Presidency University adds.

Corporate honcho Mohul Sinha joins in to add to the eclectic mix of people. “We want to become a marketplace for all Bengali brands, especially fashion and arts. We want to represent aspirational Bengalis. Our Bengali New Year calendar, taking inspiration from characters of Satyajit Ray films, is an example of the blend of past and present, says Sinha, a political science graduate from St Xavier’s College, who has worked for top brands in different cities of India and abroad.

Next in line is an experimental work on the tribal art forms of Bengal, says Sinha, adding Bongmade has already roped in local artisans.

The concept of Bongmade is to reach out to people living across the globe. “It aims to promote unique aspects of Bengal to the global audience,” says Sunando Banerjee, an IT veteran and one of the driving forces of the initiative.

Dubai-based IT professional Prashant Maiti often craves for the authentic smell of Bengal, and hence pitches in to serve Bengal on a platter to world audience.

The concept and design of Bongmade is quite different from any other e-commerce website. “We do research, conceptualize, visualize and then source materials and work on products. It is a concept,” sum up Suvajit Dutt and Gourav Ghosh who drive the look and feel of the website.

Somreet Bhattacharya is a journalist based in Kolkata, West Bengal

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