Delhi's Durga Pujas try new themes and ideas
As the puja committees blame the economic slowdown, dearth of cash, inflation and police clampdown for low budgets, they are also making the most of the constraints with innovative themes such as ecology, rural life, Bengali icons and cuisine.
Despite the money raised comparing poorly to last year's, at the Kashmere Gate Durga Puja, one of Delhi's oldest pujas where the festivities will enter the 103rd year, the colour green and Bengali tradition are touchstones for the rites of invocation.
"Every year, we allow non-profit groups to collect flowers used in the rituals to extract eco-friendly colours. This year too, many groups are keen to harvest used flowers," Samarendra Bose, an old-timer at the Kashmere Gate puja committee, told IANS.
Even the idol is eco-friendly, with the 'ek chala' (single frame) idol sculpted in chalk to help it easily dissolve in water during immersion. The idol has been made by Biswajit Pal, an artisan from Kolkata. The 'pandal' or marquee has a rustic flavour reminiscent of the idyllic life of Bengal's lush countryside, Bose said.