Bengaluru

Festivities go online in low-key Durga puja

BBMP guidelines limit the size of idols to four feet, restrict the number of food stalls to four, and prohibit public queues, among other things.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Durga puja, which is usually celebrated with much fanfare in the city, is going to be low-key this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bengali associations across the city are trying to keep the festivities, from October 22 to 26, down to a minimum. They have to fall in line with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) guidelines, which limit the size of idols to four feet, restrict the number of food stalls to four, and prohibit public queues, among other things.

Barsha Bengali Association, based in HSR Layout, has planned to have most of the celebrations online. “The puja, pushpanjali and arati at Sidhartha Convention Hall will be streamed live on Youtube and Facebook,” says Priyanka Sinha Roy, a core committee member of Barsha. They have partnered with an FMCG company for an online food demonstration by some renowned chefs. “It will feature preparation of the best sweets from Kolkata during puja,” said Priyanka.

“There’s a special tribute to Satyajit Ray on his 100th anniversary, including live concerts, among other things,” she added.

The association has partnered with a delivery app to distribute the bhog prasad to its members. At the venue, it will employ a QR-code based registration app to track the number of attendees.

Sarathi Socio Cultural Trust in Koramangala, which claims to get over 1.5 lakh visitors every year, has decided to skip the celebrations. The trust, formed in 2003, will use its festival funds to help people, like idol-makers, whose livelihoods have been affected due to the restrictions on celebrations.

“Those who make the Durga and Ganesha idols, dhak (a percussion instrument used in puja celebrations) and a lot of others are out of work this year. So, we have decided to support them this year,” says Sudipto Das, general secretary of the trust.

Tarun Paul, an idol-maker from West Bengal, has been coming to Bengaluru since his father, Sudhir, started making idols in the city in 1971. He usually makes about 40 big idols of Durga and 125 Ganesha idols. This year, Tarun decided to stay in Bengal. “This is the first time in 50 years I will be missing the puja in Bengaluru,” he says.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 11:12:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/festivities-go-online-in-low-key-durga-puja/article32902539.ece

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