Friday, October 15, 2010

People Celebrated the Games Spirit in Durga Puja

Shera may have been conspicuous by his absence at the Commonwealth Games, but at a Durga Puja pandal in Mayur Vihar not one, but many mascots were seen dancing to the traditional dhak.

The Milani cultural and welfare association in Mayur Vihar, which has the Games as its theme, has constructed a pandal that looks like Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. ‘‘Since India has performed exceptionally well, we decided to celebrate the spirit of sports this Durga Puja,’’ said Mrinal Biswas, pandal secretary, Milani cultural and welfare association.

Inside the pandal, posters of various sports adorns the walls, just as JN Stadium. The national flags of the 12 top countries judged on the basis of their performance in the Games also find pride of place. ‘‘We started preparation around one-and-a-half months back. We had to study the JN stadium and the way it has been lit up during the night and replicate it,’’ said Biswas.

This year, a majority of pandals are celebrating 150 years of Rabindranath Tagore. Some have created a small replica of his house, while others are organizing special programmes to celebrate the poet’s life and work. ‘‘We will stage a play written by Tagore called Bir Purush Dal. One day we will hold a special show on Rabindra sangeet,’’ said M K Dasgupta, general secretary, Purbachal puja committee.

Similarly, Mela Ground committee in CR Park has Tagore’s life as theme. ‘‘This is a tribute to Tagore. This year, we are promoting local talents. Due to security concerns we have kept the celebrations a low-key affair,’’ said Pranab Chaudhuri, member of the Mela Ground committee.

This festive season, some feel, is the right time to educate people on issues like global warming. So, the Kali Mandir committee is organizing a puppet show to educate people about the harmful effects of global warming and what we can do to stop it from destroying our planet. ‘‘It’s not just children, but adults too who need to be educated about global warming. We have called a group from Kolkata for this,’’ said Anjan Mukherjee, member of Kali Mandir committee.

Many puja organizers complained that this year they had to restrict the number of cultural programmes as they did not get sponsors.