With the pandal hoppings banned, the pomp and fervour of Durga Puja will be dearly missed this year. However, the puja committees have left no stone unturned in crafting the most spectacular pandals. Every year, during Durga Puja, various pandals all across West Bengal depict unique themes, revolving around art, culture, social issues. etc. The coronavirus-gripped 2020 has posed many hardships on mankind. Over the last few months, we’ve been reading news on virus spreading at alarming rate, the plight of migrant workers, lack of beds in the hospitals, loss of jobs and whatnot. Many Durga Puja pandals this year have drawn their themes from these challenges. Here is a list of 7 Durga Puja pandals that have marvellously depicted the hard times of the year:
1. Migrant Mother, Barisha Club, Behala
Sculpted by Pallab Bhowmick, the figurine of the migrant labour-inspired mother at Behala’s Barisha Club is strikingly splendid. The mud-hued trio eyed mother is seen carrying little children, which clearly reminds us of the daily wage workers who walked back to their villages from the metropolitan cities after the sudden announcement of the nationwide lockdown. The poor labourers were left with no money, food or home to survive in the cities. Many of them had even walked back barefoot, defying the scorching heat.
2. Masked Faces, Beleghata Sandhani Club
The front of the mandap in Kolkata’s Beleghata Sandhani Club shows numerous faces putting on face masks, a scenario which is very common in 2020. After the pandemic, masks have become a mandatory face gear for all of us.
3. Coronavirus Pandal, South Dinajpur
In South Dinajpur, an orange pandal has been created in the shape of the coronavirus. The artist has also given the virus round eyes and demon-like teeth. Ma Durga stands inside the pandal and the virus has a frightful expression, as the power of Durga ma can destroy its strength.
4. Humanity, AK Block, Salt Lake
The theme of the pandal this year at Kolkata’s AK Block, Salt Lake is ‘Humanity’. The rustic-themed pandal has Ma Durga standing in front of a mud-house in a simple white saree with red borders. The pandal incorporates figures of migrant labourers coming back to the village carrying loaded gunny sacks on their heads.
5. COVID-19 Awareness Campaigns, 25 Pally Club, Khidderpore
25 Pally Club in Khidderpore is quite a popular name among the pandal hoppers of Kolkata. This time, they have created a pandal highlighting various campaigns that have been undertaken to spread awareness of COVID-19.
6. Vivekananda Sporting Club
The beautiful idol of Durga Ma at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Sporting Club is seen attacking coronavirus, which has taken the form of asur ( the evil), with a huge injection. She holds the world in two hands. In the other hands, she holds sanitizer, stethoscope and other essentials of combating coronavirus.
7. Coronasur, Siliguri
Artist Jiten Pal sculpted Durga Puja idols to pay tribute to the frontliners who have been working selflessly day and night to put coronavirus at bay. Here, Durga ma is seen wearing a doctor’s costume, slaying coronasur with a syringe. Lord Ganesha wears the attire of the police. Lord Lakhshmi is dressed as a nurse. Saraswati poses as a teacher and Kathik is depicted as a sanitisation staff. Kolkata Durga Puja Pandal Shows Statue Of Doctor Slaying Coronasur With Syringe.
Around 50 big puja committees in Kolkata have already planned to go online to give a glimpse of their pandals and Pratima to the city people. Virtual Durga puja is going to become the ‘new normal’ this year. The streaming will take place through various channels and social media platforms. Some pandals have also tied up with tech firms to give a 360-degree live view of their pandals.