Some were drawn by faith, some by the aroma of traditional Bengali food while others came for the love of Bengali rock and Rabindra Sangeet. Few of the four lakh Bengalis in the city have stayed indoors since Saturday evening which marked the beginning of the five-day Durga Pujo celebrations.
The real festivities and cultural programmes, however, started on Sunday. Musical and theatre troupes staged performances across the city leaving revellers spoilt for choice. From A-list celebrities to Baul and folk singers, the cultural programmes were vibrant and had a little something in them to suit all tastes.
Groups with as many as 50 members travelled across the city in large convoys hopping from one Pujo pandal to the other. “We are confused. Some want to check out the food stalls of the Ulsoor Pujo, while others want to attend the cultural programmes at Malleswaram,” said Ashis Ganguly (38) who was carrying around 10 itinerary cards of different Pujos. As the leader of his group he seemed to have a tough time getting everybody to agree on one venue.
Since the first Pujo in 1955 at the Vasavi Hall of National College, the city’s Bengali Pujos have grown and spread to all corners.
According to some estimates, there are 60 such events conducted in the city each year. The latest addition to this list is the Pujo organised by the socio-cultural organisation Utsav at Shree Kala Mantap, 3rd Phase, J.P. Nagar.