Inventive illuminous mandals, Thai temple feel, ode to folk art of Bengal and message of unity are some of the themes at prominent Durga Puja mandals in the city this festive season.
The Bengal Club at Shivaji Park which is celebrating 88th Durgotsab in a press conference informed that the theme this year will be Sheesh Mahal with Divya Jyoti. "Diyas are all about positivity. Maa is pratik (symbolises) of shakti (energy) fire and intensity. This year we will be having a theme that is about light," said Nilesh Chaudhary, the art director who filled in for Nitin Desai who until recently made the pandals for Shivaji Park.
To ensure that devotees get blessings early, the organisers have planned to allow glimpses of Goddess from early. "Many devotees would come on Sashti but would be upset as the Darshan would start late. So this year we will open on Panchami (October 19) for all devotees from 7.30 pm onwards," said Joy Chakraborty, spokesperson of the Club. The decoration will have over 25 chandeliers with a 10 feet chandelier over Mother goddess, artificial diyas among others.
While the theme is inventive, the Club promises to retain some traditional feel including eco-friendly idol, dhunuchi naach, dhaaki and Sindoor Khela among toehrs. "The idol is made from soil sourced from the banks of river Ganga. Our idol is 19 feet tall and made by the same people who have been making it for generations. Every year we plan to raise the height by a foot till it can be done," said Joy.
'Ode to Folk Art'
The Bombay Durga Bari Samiti (BDBS), which is celebrating 94th Durga Puja and is considered to be one of the oldest Durga Pujas in the city, will be focusing on 'Ode to Folk Art' as its theme. The Puja held at Tejpal Hall will have a rich tapestry of colours, patterns and tales that describe the Puja.
"Each year a new theme allows us to promote culture and language, giving Probashi Bengali a taste of home. We keep it simple, focusing on rituals and culture, passing on our rich heritage to the next generation," said Susmita Mitra, president of BDBS.
Thai temples theme
At the North Bombay Sarbokanin Durga Puja Samiti which has a star presence every year, this year the theme is Thai temples. In its 76th year of celebration, the Puja was started by Sasadhar Mukerji, Ashok Kumar and others. The Protima (idol) of Goddess Durga this year will be 20 feel with the mukut (crown).
"We welcome all to our pujo to seek maa’s blessings. Celebrations at North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Samiti will be bigger, better & grander this year," said Debu Mukherjee, of North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Samiti.
Spandan Foundation's Powai Sharadotsav, which organises Durga Puja in Powai will be celebrating the Puja with 'PossibleTogether' as their theme, which looks to champion the cause of “Strength of Unity” and showcase several of their humanitarian initiatives in their 11th Powai Sharadotsav.
"With Kolkata Durga Puja being recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage Event by UNESCO, the Décor of 11th Powai Sharadotsav will depict the traditional Idol set in a Thakur dalan in a quintessential Rajbari with the eco friendly Solar Kaaj," said Prosun Roy from Spandan.