With the era of royal palanquins coming to an end, the era of hand pulled rickshaws began. These hand-pulled rickshaws (also known as Jin rickshaws in Japanese) started in Japan. Later on they were introduced in China. If hand pulled rickshaws are talked about in India – Kolkata would be the first city where they gained popularity. Known as taana in Bengali, these rickshaws are an iconic image connected with the City of Joy.
This classic conventional symbol of Kolkata was introduced by the Chinese in ‘Calcutta’ in the early 1880s.
In the narrow lanes of Calcutta taanas are the most effectual and practical transportation. Locals are mostly are dependent on these rickshaws and hence they are the vital part of Kolkata. Taana rickshaws are considered to be the cheapest transport mode.
The taanas are scientifically designed in a way that pullers require little effort. Each part of rickshaw is made from wood considering its size, weight and functionality. The compass is made of wood of the betel nut tree, which is like rubber and doesn’t break easily. The ring is made from the wood of Indian rosewood. The spoke is made from sal wood. The body is made of red cedar wood and the spokes where the passenger sits are made of bamboo.
To us, Taana rickshaws are a symbol of strength, self dependence and employment. Our purpose is to preserve this iconic face of Kolkata in the form of art. Herein came the idea to create an unforgettable image of the taana in a limited edition serigraph to preserve the story and the heritage of this historical mode of transportation. Limited editions can be collected by many and passed on through generations.
This artwork is presented in a graphic modern style along with the use of typography making it youthful, classy and resonate with the detective + thriller element of the movie. This is our way to pay tribute and preserve one of the most iconic symbols of royalty that existed in pre-independence era in India.
*The character sitting in the Taana rickshaw is that of the film’s leading character Byomkesh Bakshy – Sushant Singh Rajput.