Ankush Chatterjee, 17, gets asked one question a lot these days: “How did you land a chance to be a part of it?”
The “it” in question is the TTIS Choto Chokhe Boro Pujo, in association with Alchemist.
Ankush, a TTIS Tiger, and 39 other lucky students can’t wait to go about town with pens and mark sheets and rate 50 pujas in various aspects, from the best theme to the most well-organised celebration.
“This will be my first time with TTIS Choto Chokhe Boro Pujo and I am excited. I will be judging from the point of view of a teenager,” Ankush told Metro.
So what would catch a teenaged judge’s eye? “The theme should not be too complicated. I would love a pandal with bright colours. I will also be looking out for crowd management and other safety measures,” said the Class XII student at Bhavan’s GK Vidyamandir.
Joining Ankush in the third edition of TTIS Choto Chokhe Boro Pujo will be students from Carmel High School, St. Xavier’s Collegiate School and La Martiniere for Boys, among others.
The team comprises 20 TTIS Tigers (student reporters), 10 members of Earth Day Network and 10 winners of the Choto Chokhe Boro Pujo Judges’ Hunt.
Their journey will begin with a preliminary judging round on October 9 (Panchami) to whittle down the contenders from 50 to five.
The 40 chosen ones will again wear the judge’s badge on October 11 (Saptami) to crown the top three.
|The celeb judges of Choto Chokhe Boro Pujo — (from top) Manoj Tiwary and wife Susmita, Gargi Roy Chowdhury
The 50 pujas will also be competing for Best Idol, Best Theme and Green Puja.
“Alchemist Ltd believes in being environment-friendly. It is happy to present the Alchemist Earth Award to the greenest puja for the second year running and is particularly happy that children, who are the future of India, will judge these,” said Ajay Bhatti, vice-president (retail) at Alchemist.
Along with Alchemist, Earth Day Network is on board again. “We are delighted to partner with TTIS as the Green Partner for Choto Chokhe Boro Pujo. We will help train the young judges on what to look out for when they visit the pandals to select the greenest pandal. This is one of the many programmes EDN conducts to help build awareness about environmental issues among youth,” said Karuna Singh, country director, Earth Day Network.
Cricketer Manoj Tiwary and wife Susmita and actress Gargi Roy Chowdhury will join the students on Saptami. “At the end of the day, Durga Puja is a festival for kids. Even after we grow up, it is the child in us that calls out on occasions like these. This Puja is definitely going to be special as I am going to be with kids!” smiled Gargi.