Durga Puja 2021: Durga Puja is not the same this time. The enthusiasm seen in the devotees however is still the same. This time of the year, pujo pandals have special arrangements made keeping covid protocol in mind. There are barricades for visitors, special arrangements for home delivery of the bhog, followed by live broadcast of the pujo on YoutTube and Facebook. These are common sights of most pujo pandals in the city.
At CR Park’s Kali Mandir, the idols and pandals were just as simple as possible. This time, visitors were not allowed to walk around the pandals but could only enter in a line, seek blessings, offer prayers and respects and leave in a line. there were boundaries carefully placed to ensure that visitors don’t crowd the place with a separate entrance and exit points. Sanitizers were also placed at the entry points to ensure maximum protection of the people.
Visitors were seen in colorful new clothes just like every year. Visitors, however, unlike earlier, did not take part in anjali and other rituals. They, in fact, did not even prefer eating bhog inside the pandal/ temple complex. Visitors prayed and kept marching ahead. Many also stopped for a while and took pictures with a pandal background. The bhog has been prepared inside the complex. There were at least 14 different collection points that have been set up for visitors this year in CR Park.
Prodip Ganguly, Secretary, CR Park Kali Mandir Society said that visitors had to pre-book the bhog and then collect it from one of the many distribution points. At least 20 people were involved in the process of making and packing the bhog for visitors with one person in-charge of each of the 14 centres.
The committee on their Facebook page shared the guidelines that were to be kept in mind by visitors. Visitors were asked to maintain social distance, and cover faces with face masks throughout the Darsham. No offerings were allowed this year. To pay tribute to those who lost their lives to COVID-1i, the committee put up the photos of those inside the temple complex with the tag line, “Homage to departed souls of CR Park during covid-19 pandemic”.