Friday, December 9

Saraswati Puja makes up for missed festivity this year

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Long considered a puja held at individual households, Saraswati Puja was celebrated as a community revelry at major housing complexes this year. The reason was apparently to make up for the fun that resident missed out during Durga Puja due to the restrictions that had been imposed last year to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus.
While some complexes hosted community lunch, others held cultural functions and get-togethers that are usually associated with community pujas, like Durga and Kali pujas, but seldom seen during Saraswati Puja.
At Sarosi Apartments in Kasba, a community lunch replaced the usual bhog distribution. Hundreds of residents took off their masks and ate with each other for the first time after several months. “We had never organised Saraswati Puja on such a large scale ever in our complex. But this year we have organized it on a par with community pujas,” said Sujata Ghosh, a senior member of the flat owners’ association at the complex.

At Silver Spring Complex off EM Bypass, the association celebrated Saraswati Puja after a long gap to bring back the festive fervour. They hosted a sports event, along with a cultural programme, to boost community participation. “There was an overwhelming response at the sports event as well as at the puja rituals, like pushpanjali and arati. The residents have been working together in the pandal since Tuesday, like they used to do during community pujas,” said Indranil Chowdhury, the association secretary at the complex.

Some complexes organized various cultural events and competitions, instead of community lunch. For example, at Ruchira Residency, the residents participated in a photography competition that was inaugurated and judged by film director Buddhadeb Dasgupta, also a resident of the complex. “We delivered packed bhog to the flats,” said Kaushik Mitra, a resident of the complex. Lakeview Housing Complex in Howrah also conducted multiple cultural programmes and celebrated the puja rituals together but preferred packed food, instead of a sit-down lunch.

Source: TimesofIndia

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