Instead of landing up at the pandal like guests, residents of Eastern High lent a hand at decorating the pandal themselves this year.
“Some members of the puja committee suggested doing something to engage all the residents. Every year we just go to the pandal after it is ready and we have no role in its making,” said Biswajit Majumdar, a member of the puja committee. “So we thought of taking over the pandal-decoration ourselves.”
Nine vertical boards were placed above the arch outside the pandal, representing the nine buildings in the complex. “Each had a different puja-related design and the common arch signified the unity among us. The artwork was done entirely by residents. Only the centrepiece was painted by a professional,” said committee member Aditya Dutta.
The team was led by Suchandra Das, who has undergone an interior designing course from London. “This is the first time I designed artwork professionally. It took us around 20 days to complete the project. We gathered whenever we had time — in the evenings and sometimes late at night. All those engaged were mostly homemakers and children without any professional background. It was fun and I am glad our efforts paid off.”
The puja also tried to be eco-friendly and used only natural materials like kulo in the pandal. “Usually we enjoy this festival but don’t realise the carbon footprint it leaves behind. We wanted to minimise this in every department. Even for community lunch, we tried to minimise packaging and encouraged residents to take food home in their own containers,” said Majumdar.