Open-air Puja venue at BJ Block
The puja pandal at BJ Block this year will be modelled on a rajbari thakurdalan of yesteryears. “This will ensure an open-air pandal so there is ample space for visitors to stand at safe distances from each other and offer prayers,” said Uma Shankar Ghosh Dastidar, joint secretary of the puja committee, at their khuti puja.
BJ Block Saradotsav Committee organised their khuti puja on Sunday in presence of Krishna Chakraborty, board of administrators, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and ward co-ordinator Tulsi Sinha Roy. It poured that morning and BJ Park turned into a slushy field but even then residents came over to join the festivities and mark the beginning of their 38th Durga puja.
Wooden boards had to be laid on the ground for residents and guests to walk to the centre of the park without stepping into the mud. A few of them even decided to walk without their shoes. “It is so difficult to walk on this slippery ground in shoes that I prefer to be barefoot. In our childhood, we used to walk barefoot across fields in monsoon. It’s been years since I did that,” smiled 58-year-old Usha Bhaduri, sandals in hand and smile on face.
“The main attraction of our puja has always been the ekchala traditional idol by sculptor Pradip Rudra Pal and this will remain the same this year. Besides, that will be the attraction of the thakurdalan that is barely seen nowadays,” Ghosh Dastidar said.
Joint secretary Anindya Sinha Roy added how last year they had distributed bhog from the pandal so residents would not miss it. “This time we are thinking of distributing food packets on one day. We might deliver them at home. That way there will be no chance of gathering but residents will still feel they are a part of the celebration,” he said. “We are still at the planning stage and will take a call based on the Covid situation later,” added Anindya Sinha Roy, joint secretary.
Krishna Chakraborty conveyed best wishes to the puja but asked residents to be vigilant about the pandemic. “We are going through a difficult time and we need to be cautious. Always wear a mask and sanitise your hands often. If the situation improves we will once again gather and perform puja with the same grandeur like before. But for now, we need to act responsibly and prevent the third wave,” said Chakraborty.