New Trend of Durga Puja – innovative themes
Since the decade of 90s, innovative themes in idols and the pandals become the USP of the Sarbajanin or Community Durga Puja in Kolkata. Usually, the Puja committees decide an attractive theme well before the puja and they try to incorporate all its elements in the idols and pandals. We have already seen some popular themes like Inca or Maya civilizations in some of the leading festivals. In fact, themes like Harry Potter house or RMS Titanic are not unfamiliar to the pandal hoppers in Kolkta too.
Leading architecture and art students are given the duty to design the desired structure in general in Kolkata. The budget to organize the whole festival is much greater in the community pujas compared to that of some home-based traditional Durga puja. Even they are among the crowd favorites. In fact, the theme based pujas are getting rapid popularity in suburbs and the neighbor states like Odhisa as well. But they don’t experiment that much on the Durga idols unlike Kolkata.
Along with the increasing popularity, the competition to stay on the top is increasing among the organizers of some of the leading pujas. In fact, they do lots of promotional and commercial activities regarding their Puja, well before its advent. In fact, doing puja in traditional ways, instead of incorporating some themes, is becoming in-thing in some of the Durga puja organizers.
Durga Puja in Popular Culture
Durga Puja is a part of a Bengali’s life and it is considered as the most important event in the calendar in Bengal. We can find the mentions of Durga Puja in many of the popular Bengali films, books and music albums. In fact, the government of West Bengal assigns a fortnight long holiday during the time of Pujas. Many people of Bengal consider this time as the best to travel around the world because of the vacations. Friends usually hang out in restaurants and homes. In fact, people engage themselves into high volume of shopping.
People hop towards the Puja pandals during the festival days. Street foods become enjoyable for the people of every class during those days. Young people seem to enjoy a lot during this time. Lots of popular Bengali musicians release their music albums during this time known as Puja Songs.
Role of media during Puja
Apart from the people of Bengal, the media also engage themselves during the Puja. We often see the radio and TV channels telecasting Puja celebrations like. In fact, some of the leading channels telecast Puja related programs the whole day. Leading Oriya and Bengali magazines come up with a special issue during this time, known as Sharad Sankhya or the Puja Barshiki. Some of the notable magazines come up with Puja Barshiki are Bartaman, Nabakallol, Sananda, Anandabazar Patrika, Desh, Suktara, and Anandamela etc. There one can find the write-ups of bothe established and the upcoming writers.