December 17, 2021 6:20:13 pm
As a tribute to Tamil poet and polyglot Subramania Bharathi, a Puducherry bakery — ZUKA Chocolates — has created a life-size statue of the eminent personality, better known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar. The 6.6 feet tall statue — made of edible semi-sweet dark chocolate, white chocolate, and milk chocolate — weighs 482 kilos.
“Every year in December, as a tribute, we make life-size statue of prominent personalities. We have been wanting to create Bharathiyar’s statue for a while now. Since this year was his 139th birth anniversary, and 100 years since his passing away, we wanted to dedicate our 40th chocolate creation to the literary stalwart,” Srinath Balachandran, a managing director of the bakery, told indianexpress.com.
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The bakery has previously created life-size chocolate creations of personalities like late singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, actor Rajinikanth, actor and comic Charlie Chaplin, Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Indian fighter pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.
In comparison to all of the bakery’s earlier chocolate statues, Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiyar’s statue has been created in the shortest period of 106 hours or less than 10 days by executive chef Rajendran, informed Balachandran.
“This took us three months to plan, including scanning almost 89 images of Bharathiyar to get the nuances right with the help of our in-house designer. Though we wanted to complete it in September for Mahakavi’s 139th birth anniversary on September 11, we realised that may not be possible with Covid restrictions and the bakery partially closed. So, we timed it with our December tributes, as well as Christmas and New Year rush that sees more tourists,” Balachandran shared.
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Balachandran, a qualified chocolatier himself, also shared that they had been wanting to create Mahakavi’s statue for sometime now, and were waiting for permission from the poet’s family. “We always take permission from the family or the person for the creations. This time, we took permission from Rajkumar Bharathi, the great grandson of Mahakavi Bharathi, who even visited us in person to see our work,” he shared.
The statues, which are melted to be re-used for other creations, are kept in a temperature-controlled environment of 25-26 degree Celsius within the bakery. “Sometimes, they are re-processed as candies for fundraisers. But most times, they are re-used for other chocolate creations,” Balachandran mentioned.
In keeping with the Covid restrictions, the creation is barricaded within the bakery. “We are following all precautions so that there is no crowding. We definitely want people to visit. As creators, there is no greater joy than having your creations seen and appreciated,” Balachandran said.
The chocolate statue would be on display from December 18 to 30, 2021.
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