With a 6.6-foot-tall chocolate statue, a Puducherry bakery pays tribute to Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi
Made of edible semi-sweet dark chocolate, white chocolate, and milk chocolate — weighs 482 kilos.
A Puducherry bakery, ZUKA Chocolates, has created a life-size statue of Tamil poet and polyglot Subramania Bharathi, popularly known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar, as a tribute to him. The figure, which stands 6.6 feet tall and weighs 482 kilos, is made of edible semi-sweet dark chocolate, white chocolate, and milk chocolate.
"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.
Life-size chocolate sculptures of late singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, actor Rajinikanth, actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin, Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Indian fighter pilot Abhinandan Varthaman have already been constructed by the bakery.
In compared to all of the bakery's previous chocolate sculptures, executive chef Rajendran built Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiyar's statue in the shortest time of 106 hours, or less than 10 days, according to 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.
Balachandran, who is also a trained chocolatier, revealed that they had been planning to make Mahakavi's statue for some time and were awaiting 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 sculptures are kept in a temperature-controlled setting at 25-26 degrees Celsius within the bakery until they are melted and reused for new projects. "Sometimes, they are re-processed as candies for fundraisers. But most times, they are re-used for other chocolate creations," Balachandran mentioned.
The creation is blocked within the bakery, in accordance with the Covid limitations. "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.
From December 18 until December 30, 2021, the chocolate statue will be on exhibit.