Photographer and Banker Niladri Adhikary is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his ‘Rituals’ Gallery‘. To see Niladri’s galleries click on any image.


Forfeiture (Ritual : Charak)


Rain of Rice (Ritual : Annakut)


For our Ancestors (Ritual : Tarpan)


Burning eyes (Ritual : Chhat Puja)


Ignition of Faith : Amidst Bengal


Ever since the realization of our being comes in our consciousness we tend to look beyond us, think about the huge unknown universe around and ask some essential questions about our entity in this earth. The more we think of the vast unknown we get a feeling that apart from our own existence in nature, there might be something indefinable, something that goes beyond human cognition. From this constant struggle to decipher the vast unknown universe, the concept of unknown super nature, the belief in the existence of Almighty, comes in. Man replaces his ignorance with a faith , a strong belief in something supreme that controls our birth and our human existence in this world. The fear of the unknown destiny keeps haunting us and we clutch on to our faith of Divinity that the unseen Supreme nature is to be satisfied for the well being of ourselves and that of our near and dear ones. This is that deep faith in that nature or as someone says God, we feel we are under the benevolent care of supreme Almighty. This leads to the following of various rituals aiming to satisfy God of one’s individual religion. This undaunted faith gives in us the inner strength to fight the fear of unknown destiny.


"... to satisfy the divine so that their existence in this earth is taken care of by that Supreme Being."


Bengal is identified with multifariousness so far these religious sects and their faiths are concerned. Cutting across their religion, these people, mainly the rural folks, take part in various ritualistic activities all through the year. All of these festivals originated in pockets of Bengal. None knew the exact inception of these festivals but all these have common aim – to satisfy the divine so that their existence in this earth is taken care of by that Supreme Being. Faith is their gateway to connect with the universe and their only answer to the question of their own identity as the human beings and purpose of human birth. Behind all Hindu festivals there are certain Gods or Goddesses and the people who take part in these rituals believe in certain acts of penance to satisfy those Gods. The Muslims believe in the presence of Allah and undergoing several acts of self infliction they want to propitiate that unseen Allah. Other religions have their own interpretation of Almighty and their own individualistic ways of worshiping their God.

Observing these acts of the devout people of all religions one wonders at the power of faith in human beings. Truly faith heals where logic and reason fails.  It is so well said that faith  only gets one the desired results when arguments only push him afar.


Bewitch (Ritual : Dondi)


For Amelioration (Ritual : Dondi)


Blood Line (Ritual : Muhharam)


Seek for Blessings (Ritual : Annakut)


Stop! (Ritual : Dondi)


See also:

Call of the Mountains

By Niladri Adhikary