New clothes, Puja fun and some real-life idols — the second day of Kolkata Knight Riders presents TTIS Choto Chokhe Boro Pujo was all about wish fulfilment for the young judges.
As 40 students from various schools and colleges went around the city to hand awards to the five winning puja committees — from the 50 they had judged the day before — the children had no idea that some more surprises were in store for them as the day unfolded.
The team of students was joined by members of the KKR team on Saturday, making the award ceremony an experience to remember for many.
Based on the students’ assessment, Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha was declared the Best Puja, Chorebagan Sarbojonin Durgatsav Samity won the Best Pandal award, Santoshpur Lake Pally bagged the Best Innovative Puja award, Nalin Sarkar Street Sarbojonin Durgotsav was adjudged the Best Idol and Tala Prattoy won the Judges Choice Award.
Day II was about revisiting the favourite pujas to hand over the awards, travelling together in a bus and sharing some happy memories.
“This is my first time as a judge. The event has given me the opportunity to interact with people and select the best pandals in the city. I was particularly floored by Chorebagan Sarbojonin Durgatsav Samity in Maniktala. The pandal was handmade and created with broken glasses,” said Niharika Rai, a student of Class X, DPS, Newtown.
The young judges with cricketers Rinku Singh and Venkatesh Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders’ coach Chandrakant Sitaram Pandit and actor Rwitobroto Mukherjee at Santoshpur Lake Pally, which won the Best Innovative Puja award
The students’ excitement peaked when they were joined by star cricketers Rinku Singh and Venkatesh Iyer, along with the Kolkata Knight Riders’ coach Chandrakant Sitaram Pandit and actor Rwitobroto Mukherjee.
There was a scurry for autographs. The student fans also danced with their idols to the beat of the dhaak and took selfies with the guests at different pandals.
Kushagra Agarwal, a Class VI student, was over the moon. “This is my best pandal-hopping experience till date. I am a huge KKR fan and giving away prizes with my idols was like a dream come true,” said the student of South City International.
Cricketer Venkatesh Iyer was enjoying his chat with the kids. The whole pandal-hopping experience was novel for him, he told them. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I really wanted to be a part of it. I hope to get some blessings for our upcoming seasons,” he said.
The first stop for the lively bunch was Santoshpur Lake Pally, which was adjudged The Most Innovative Puja. Its concept was about the beginning of the television era.
Donning masks with the cricketers’ faces, the team made their way to Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha, which won the Best Puja Prize for its theme — Distant Danger.
Chore Bagan Sarbojonin Durgatsav won the Best Pandal award for its theme — Inner Shakti. The pandal, made of broken bottles, spoke out loud how fragile beautiful things are and need to be taken care of.
Actor Rwitobroto said: “With their attention to details, the student judges have done a great job of selecting the best pandals across the city.”