Durga Puja means a grand festival in West Bengal. Every single person in this state celebrates the ultimate. It is a time when families and friends get together and enjoy the five days of the festival.
Since my childhood, I have marked many changes in the Durga Puja celebration. I remember, when I was a kid, I used to wake up at 4 am in the morning to collect flowers from our own garden and give those flowers to the nearby temple. It was not only me, but everyone from the community had small or big participation to get the entire Durga Puja rituals done on time. That time things were not so commercial, there was a personal touch at the festival.
But now, things have changed a lot. It is happening in a much bigger way than before. We do not need to wake up at 4 am to collect flowers as it is available in the market, our mom and aunts do not need to go to the pandal for the puja preparation as there are people who are getting paid to do the same. Almost each puja committee is pulling millions of crowds during the festival days. Big banners of sponsors and beautiful themes, Durga Puja now is a big competition too. Different brands and social organizations are awarding puja committees for their beautiful, creative decorations and unique concepts. Some puja committees are also participating in the Durga Puja carnival on the last day of the festivals.
So, simply instead of waking up at 4 am in the morning, people are spending their festival nights in pandal hopping, at the luxury restaurants and pubs. Even, most of us have stopped making traditional foods at home during the festival as we can buy those from the restaurants.
No doubt, this festival has given the opportunity to thousands of people to earn through creativity, it’s also giving us an opportunity to tell stories of society and culture through different themes. But, I feel sometimes there is a huge lack of that personal touch at the festival. I am not telling you won’t get the personal tough but in a few places only.