This year one of the biggest festivals of the Hindu the “Durga Puja” held in the midst of the covid pandemic. And like every other business on earth, it too was toned down.
Even a year-worth of anticipation from the millions of Bengalis fell short from this year’s curse that has ravaged the world, taken over 40 million lives, and killed hundreds of thousands of people globally.
Bengalis usually spend days just celebrating with friends and families during Durga puja, some rarely coming back home. But this year, it was different, thanks to the pandemic.
As they say, nothing can stop the Mother coming from being celebrated. Albeit not as grandly as it is done otherwise, this year it was a different scene in pandals — elaborate makeshift structures where the ceremonies take place for days.
Days before the Puja, India’s Supreme court passed a verdict banning any sort of visit in the puja pandals, and declaring them as containment zones across West Bengal.
Amid the necessity to protect oneself and others from the virus, and offer the most sincere prayers to Maa Durga at the same time, Bengalis celebrated both restraint and the faith.
On the 10th day of Navratri, which is usually the day when the idols are taken for immersion in the ghats of Kolkata, I decided to take a stroll and capture this rare occurrence — Puja during pandemic — which I with all my heart pray that may this be the last time ever.
This year like other countries of the world India is also experiencing tough situations due to covid, and after a prolonged lockdown, India is getting back to normal with mask and sanitizer.
Being the second-worst affected nation in the world from the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt celebrating, as usual, was even an option, least one’s life is precious.
Under Unlock 5, India has celebrated Durga Puja majorly in 4 states West Bengal, Assam, Orissa and Bihar.
Despite regulations forbidding gathering in large numbers, people huddled in crowds on the tenth day of the 10-day Navratri, which is called ‘Dashami’ in Bengali.
This year the immersion of goddess Durga in Kolkata is also restricted. The main ghat of immersion located beside the Ganges has less number of visitors which is unusual.
High security in those areas with Kolkata Police, Kolkata Traffic Police, and Kolkata Municipal Corporation Kolkata witnessed a peaceful immersion for 4 continuous days.
What do you think about this year’s Durga puja? How did it go for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.