In its 72nd year, the 66 Pally Durga Puja pandal will showcase the memories of the near-extinct families. My Kolkata is the digital media partner for 66 Pally.
Theme and decorations
The theme, titled Ekannoborti, means a group of people eating from the same pot or in other words, a joint family.
“With the changing times and the pace in lifestyle increasing manifold, the concept of joint families is a thing of the past. However, with the advent of nuclear families, we are facing major problems in raising children. Kids are often deprived of the company, love and guidance of their grandparents, uncles and aunts,” said Pradyumna Mukherjee, the club’s general secretary.
The pandal resembles a traditional Bengali house made by artist Purnendu Dey, which has been divided by two brothers after they decided to part ways and live their own lives. “One part of the house is bright while the other is dull because of financial crunch. However, despite having divided the house, the mother remains undivided,” said Mukherjee adding that there will be installations and artworks highlighting a nuclear family.
The clay idol will be placed in the thakur dalan. It is a traditional ekchala idol with a twist which artist Ardhendu Dey is not willing to disclose till the idol is complete.
Unlike previous years, 66 Pally is not going in for a theme music this year. Instead, they will play a voiceover in which a mother will narrate the good old days when she was a part of a joint family. “She will also speak about her dream that one day, both her sons will reunite and recreate an ekannoborti poribar,” said Mukherjee. The voiceover has been written and recorded by Nandini Bhowmick, the celebrated female priestess, who is also performing the puja.
The club’s theme puja began in 2004 and it was based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Khudito Pashan in the first year. In 2005, the club created 10 imaginary temples. In 2016, they depicted old Kolkata through a 3D painting and in 2018, the pandal was made of cotton threads.
“During the pandemic, things were different. In 2020, we joined hands with two other local clubs and paid tribute to Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy. In 2021, the three clubs jointly organised a drive-in puja to avoid congestion. The same year, for the first time, a group of female priestesses performed our puja,” Mukherjee added.
66 Pally is known for its social work such as blood donation camps and health checkup camps. However, this year, in association with martial art experts, the club will train hundreds of female students in self-defence.
How to reach
The pandal is just a kilometre away from the Rashbehari crossing. It’s a 10-minute walk towards Chetla from Kalighat Metro station. One can also take a bus or an auto from the Metro station. The pandal is in between two bus stops and it’s best to walk from the Metro station.