Durga 'Puja' in Calcutta has been highly commercialised, specially through hype in TV. Days' count starts blinking on the screen 90 days before 'Mahalaya'.Endless advertisements and talks and reports on what minor celebrities plan to do during the 'Puja' spoils the celebration's mood because of over-exposure. Gradually, DurgaPuja is turning to be a carnival.
Yet, artistic decoration and the height of workmanship of the artisans toiling for weeks attract lakhs of people who stream through the PujaPandals for 4/5 evenings.The rush allows just a glimpse , because , there is a constant push to move and make room for the next person. I normally cover a few of the famous ones in South Calcutta during early hours of the morning or noon.In the evenings, I enjoy the shows of TV channels. Much to my chagrin,in 2009, TV channels, who did cover the Puja crowd a lot, were very particular about not showing the details of award-winning images and pandals !There must have been requests of Puja Committes about not showing the details so that curiosity attracts larger and larger crowd,which in turn means,bigger support from sponsors.
Weather was a spoil-sport this year. September weather is, as such, humid.Calcuttans had to brave a few showers too. are a few photos capturing the moments of joy :
Tired face of a priest. 'Evergreen' pandal @ Ballygunge, against the backdrop of the knees of Mahisasur .
Durgabari @ Ballygunge Place. Notice the bright red garlands on Devi's body.
The best performer in a competition of impersonating DeviDurga among local children @ (Behala) Airport 'More' near Parnasree.
Seeking the blessing of the Goddess, after the priest performed 'Arati'.@ (Behala) Airport 'More' near Parnasree.