As per latest reports, the family of Mingleshwar Sequeira, which is based in the city of Mumbai, has been making wooden & fabric idols of Goddess during and before the pious festival of Navratri for 40 years.
Mingleshwar is the third generation of artificers and relies on the saying that art has no religious belief.
Mingleshwar told media people, “My grandfather used to make Gauri idols and idols of goddesses Durga and Lakshmi for years. After him, the art was passed on to my father and later to us. I and my brother Benzoni were born and brought up in the Marathi hamlet of Giriz in Vasai and we are well-versed with the Hindu religion.”
The factory where Mingleshwar Sequeira makes these wooden idols is based in Vasai.
Since creating wooden as well as fabric idols of Goddess needs perfection, proper time and finesse, Mingleshwar Sequeira takes just limited orders so that they can fulfill all in time.
In recent times, the brothers were making headlines for adding on eyes created of glass to idols.
Unlike idols that have eyes painted by painters, the brothers have been placing orders for artificial eye sets in Germany.
“A glass eye gives a three-dimensional feeling as one looks at the goddess. Such eyes are tailor-made for dolls in Germany and we try to get these for our goddesses. It gives a better feeling,” Mingleshwar Sequeira stated.
The creation of an idol costs near Rs 4.5 lakh and they charge Rs 1500 extra for idols boasting of glass eyes.
“For a tall statue of the goddess, the minimum cost is around Rs 4.35 lakh. Small idols are sold at Rs 1 lakh. Our idols are sold to customers based in Scotland, Australia, Europe, and Florida,” Mingleshwar stated.
Gauri idols are really popular and mandals at Thane and Umbermali purchase idols from Sequeiras.
“We sell at least five Gauri idols every year during Ganeshotsav. We also design temples, statues and doors when the festive season is not on. My son, who is learning fine arts, plans to take this up as a career,” he added.