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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Overcast sky may dampen puja spirit

SILCHAR, Sept 24: The advent of Durga Puja has not augured well for Barak Valley with overnight rains lashing the districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. Well decorated pandals and puja mandaps with an array of illumination, many with idols of the Goddess might get damaged if the rains resume. It has generated a sense of despair and gloom among the organizers.

Days of hard work, innovative planning , creative and competitive spirit to display the best and beat one another in art and design and earn laurels, they fear, might go haywire.
The big budget pujas of Bilpar, one floating on a vast pond, Tarun Sangha, Ram Krishna Mission Road, Anand Parishad, Tarapur Bus Stand, Aryapatty, Subhash Nagar and Ambicapore among others are always the centres of attraction for puja hoppers for their changing themes and concepts as well as hi-tech d├ęcor, spending as much Rs 3 to Rs 6 lakh alone on extravaganza, lavish and multicolour show.

With the fast changing time, the serenity of household celebration has given way to flashing neon and dazzling luminescence of community worship and the mocking rhythm of the past.
Gone are the days when the drum beaters, now a rare sight, stole the show. The modern trend is the blaring of continual sizzling modern songs. Recitation from holy Chandi has become in most puja mandaps a ritual.

There have been other changes as well. Not long ago, the images were made of symmetrical variety- Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh were placed in one panel with artistic sola work. Today action and electronic animated versions of happenings like 26/11 mayhem or replica of a famous temple or historical destination form part of the grand celebration.

Doing away with the traditional clay variety, idols are now made of every conceivable material.
If the festive days remain wet and cloudy, the pandal hoppers are in for trouble to walk through crater filled and potholed muddy roads, water logging, overflowing blocked drains and broken footpaths. Intermittent load shedding if the ASEB does not act to improve, will further add to their woes. THE SENTINEL

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