Coronavirus: Kolkata's wait for Durga Puja 2021 begins

Coronavirus: Kolkata's wait for Durga Puja 2021 begins

One can say, that the 'City of Joy' passed the Durga Puja test with flying colours.

Representative image/Credit: PTI Photo

 The tenth and the last day of the Durga Puja (Dashami) is here. Like all good things, this must also come to an end. And the ending brings a sense of sadness and longingness with it.

This year in Kolkata, the Durga Puja was marred by the coronavirus pandemic. The crowd turnout in the pandals was massively low compared to the previous years. Still, Bengalis celebrated their grandest festival with as much pomp and glory as were possible to conjure in such difficult times.

Read | Low visitor turnout at centuries-old Durga Puja in Kolkata

One can say, that the 'City of Joy' passed the Durga Puja test with flying colours.

Time for 'Bisarjan'

As the last day arrives, a sense of gloom descends upon the city. It is the time for 'Bisarjan', the immersion of the Durga idol.

Earlier, the Durga idols were immersed in the Ganges rives and small lakes. But because of the increasing strictness by the state government, this year 'token immersion' has been practiced, i.e, idols have been picked up from the water immediately after immersion. Kolkata Police has ensured that coronavirus lockdown guidelines are maintained in the places of immersion. Even so, rules have been flouted, as is the norm with our society.

The procession accompanying the 'Bisarjan' has been banned this year, devoiding 'Dashami' much of its time-honoured sheen. Citizens made up for the loss by indulging in the traditional 'sindoor khela', a ritual where the women decorate the Durga idol with vermilion and flowers and later apply vermillion on each other. Dashami also calls for younger generations paying their respect to the older ones, and families exchanging sweets and well-wishes.

Kolkata is filled with the chant 'Asche bochor abar hobe' (It will happen again next year) as people bid Ma Durga a teary-eyed farewell. Sure, the degree of celebrations were dampened by the pandemic, but the spirit was firm. As the Durga Puja comes to an end, the wait for next year's puja begins. And it is accompanied by a hope, that with the blessings of the Goddess, all will be well, soon.