MASKS OF GLORY
Travel+Leisure India|September 2021
Charida is not the most popular tourism spot in West Bengal. But its obscurity is one of the reasons that made UPASYA B choose to discover the undiscovered ‘mask village’ of India.
UPASYA B

AS OUR CAR PULLED into the dusty parking lot, a little boy, dressed in nothing but a pair of shorts and a grin that flashed all of his immaculate white teeth, came running towards us. Upon his insistence, we let him lead us to what he claimed was the “best shop” in this area. As we squeezed in through a narrow door, we were greeted by a wall of faces.

While some looked amicable, a few were outright angry, and still, others looked on with an expression I can only describe as disapproving. The colors they donned were dazzling: mellow yellow, forest green, neon pink, dark blue, and many shades in between. As I looked around the room in awe, I noticed a lady seated in one corner of the shop. Sprawled in front of her was the biggest Kathakali mask I had ever laid my eyes on. The little boy who had led us there was now waiting by the door, eager to show us around the rest of his village.

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