A dilapidated statue lurking over your head, and the sound of breaking ripples of the Hooghly behind as you cautiously make your way across the circular railway tracks, and stumble upon a set of sealed off doors with one ajar- blinding blackness behind it. And it was just past noon then.
Ironically, however eerie the ambience is you will be enticed to walk right into the darkness defying all logical reasoning. The sound of the century old staircase creaking under the weight of your feet as you make your way up- further leading you into the omnipresent darkness, this time your mind pleading you not to move an inch further. Your heart and mind in a complete delirium.
Such is the feeling when you enter Putul-Bari, Ahiritola, near the Sovabazaar jetty .But is this all that there is about Putul-Bari? Or is there more about this place than what meets the eye.
Not accepting the social media rage over the place being haunted, we at Beacon Kolkata took it upon ourselves to bust the myth. Contrary to popular belief Putul-Bari is home to the Natta family. Now, who is this Natta family? We’ll tell you.
The Natta Family and its members are the owners of Natta Jatra company, the pioneers and one of the most successful Jatra companies in West Bengal.
In the early nineteenth century at a small village of Barishal in Bangladesh the Natta Jatra Company was started. Jatras are plays based on stories, written on religious, mythological and historical plots.
(To know more about Jatra in Kolkata, click here)
In the mid-19th century, the Natta Company became popular for its musical presentations and colorful and glittering outfits, which were the main attractions for the poor and not so literate rural audience.
After the ‘Great Bengal Famine’ of 1943, the Natta Company performed the jatra pala – “Akaler Desh” which became very popular with the masses. The golden period of Natta Co. started from late 60’s and continued till 70’s when they produced quite a few popular palas.
As time passed by the name “Natta Company” became a well-known name in Bengali folk theater. As the generations passed by, the responsibility of the company came in the hands of Baikuntha Natta’s descendants – Mathuranath Natta and then Jagendranath and Radhendranath Natta. Until recently, the Natta Company was being managed by Sri Makhan Lal Natta; who sadly passed away during the discourse of this story itself.
Although Kolkata has more than 70 jatra companies, with the surge of the internet and globalization, this art is currently in its lowest phase.
Much like the remnants of a lavish palace which was once witness to elaborate carnivals and grand festivities, Putul Bari is home to a 150 year old art form currently in its fifth generation. So, a mere resonation of the once oozing grandeur of Putul Bari is what we believe is the charm of the place.
Sadly, this has been blatantly misunderstood as paranormal and human anxiety taking its course has aided in branding Putul Bari as a haunting.
While leading agencies have blindly trademarked the place, we at Beacon Kolkata bring you the complete exclusive story of Putul Bari and the art of the Natta Jatra Company it is home to.
So, busting the myth, we can assertively say that the haunting at Putul Bari is only a product of gossips and grape-vine on the social media.
Watch this space as we dig deeper into the mystery of other interesting places in Kolkata.