Lanterns in the sky

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 8.11.13

North Calcutta may have a tradition of releasing sky lanterns on Diwali but this year some residents of Salt Lake and New Town tried it out too.

“Having grown up in Bowbazar, I know how pretty bright fanushes look dotting a dark night sky,” says Suvo Palit of EE Block. But instead of purchasing the same, he logged on to the Net to learn how to make them. “I thought this would be a good science experiment for my seven-year-old daughter and she helped me make them.”

While Palit bought kite paper, bamboo, wires and glue and started putting together the sky lanterns three to four days before Kali puja, for Brishti Mondal of CF Block, the experience was unplanned. “We had gone to a friend’s house in New Town’s Eden Court complex and she surprised us with fanushes,” says Mondal. “We released three in the sky in New Town, which was much darker than it was in Salt Lake.”

Mondal had always thought the fanush was a difficult balloon to fly but was surprised to find it user-friendly. “We enjoyed it so much that we brought home two to release in our CF Block home with the rest of my family,” she says.

Palit too released their fanushes with family and neighbours watching. “We had made three of them and being Mohun Bagan fans, we chose green and maroon as the colours of the walls for each balloon, in sync with our club colours. The fate of a fanush depends on the balance in the balloon and we crossed our fingers as we lit the paraffin inside it,” he recalls.

All went well and the balloons gracefully swayed away from Palit’s EE Block terrace towards Kestopur. “We felt proud to see our creation in the sky and were also happy to have celebrated Diwali soundlessly and with relatively less air pollution,” he says.

The organisers of the Kali puja at BL Block this year released sky lanterns at their inauguration ceremony. “This was the 22nd edition of our puja and we released 22 fanushes,” says Sudipta Roy of the BL Block Committee’s Youth Wing that organised the puja. “It was the first time we did it and it looked beautiful.”

Residents are keen to do this more often. “We loved it so much that we plan to release some fanushes during a Shiva-Parvati puja at home later this month,” smiles Mondal.