Koyeli Chatterjee, a professional dancer, used to hold Lakhsmi Puja at home even a few years back. But ever since she moved into Diamond City South six years ago, she celebrates with others in her complex. Wednesday, for her, is going to be no different.
At several apartment complexes across Kolkata, residents are increasingly joining the community Lakshmi Puja celebrations. What used to be a household puja is now being celebrated with increased grandeur and scale by residents of apartment complexes.
“This year, we have seen residents who do not stay in Kolkata return home for the few days of celebrations and stay back till Lakshmi Puja. Earlier, people used to celebrate Lakshmi Puja in their homes. Now we do it together. Even though it is a working day for most, sparing two-three hours in the evening isn’t a big deal. And since everyone is pitching in, it becomes a community puja. Since we celebrated Durga Puja, we have to celebrate Lakshmi Puja in the same place,” Chatterjee said.
Ayan Mukherjee, 42, who works in the financial sector, said, “Frankly, it is difficult to organise pujas at home now. Lack of space may not be a constraint for all, but time is. Lakshmi Puja must be conducted in the same platform where Durga Puja is celebrated. Since we organize Lakshmi Puja together, people join in large numbers. Now planning for Durga Puja and Lakshmi Puja starts days in advance. It is well organised and disciplined and the participation has increased tremendously,” he said. Mukherjee is the organizing committee secretary at Devalok De Casa in Garia.
At Uniworld City New Town, Dhrubajyoti Ghosh, the organizing committee general secretary, said, “The community pujas which we celebrate round-the-year, gives the residents an opportunity to bond with each other. The participation of residents here has been overwhelming. We even had visitors from outside during Durga Puja. We expect a similar attendance for Lakshmi Puja.”
Sixty-seven-year-old Samir Baran Saha, the organising secretary, at Airport City Residency, said, “This year, we are witnessing a participation of 184 flat owners. But what gives us immense satisfaction is the fact that an increasing number of youngsters are joining in the festivities.”
Eden Residency resident Indrani Pal, a teacher, felt community pujas have created an extended family. “Nearly 100 flat owners here celebrate the pujas together. Over the years, this has become a close-knit family,” she said.
Source: Times of India