Durga Puja 2020: How the festival's spirit is alive with devotees amid pandemic

DN Bureau

As the festive week of Navratri kicks off, devotees are looking forward to celebrating Durga Puja with great enthusiasm. However, the spirit of the auspicious festival has dampened a bit amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially for people staying away from their hometown

File Photo
File Photo

New Delhi: As the festive week of Navratri kicks off, devotees are looking forward to celebrating Durga Puja with great enthusiasm. However, the spirit of the auspicious festival has dampened a bit amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially for people staying away from their hometown.

Media spoke to some of the people who are used to celebrating the auspicious festival in the traditional manner, and as they talk, they explain how the coronavirus pandemic has become a spoilsport in their travel plans, which they would do every year, and how the celebrations are going to differ this year amid the coronavirus scare.

Debaditya Saha, who works in Concentrix said, "I could have visited my hometown, but it isn't safe. My parents are elderly and if I travel from Delhi to Kolkata, it isn't safe either, as we could catch the infection- and travelling isn't the smartest move at this time."

However, talking about the new way of celebrating festivals is being considered amid the pandemic, i.e. virtual celebration.

Saha shared about how this year he is going to celebrate the festival virtually. He said, "Usually, I used to go back to my hometown and gather with my childhood friends as we go for pandal hopping. This year I will be attending the online darshan--and receive blessings of the goddess."

Talking about the celebrations going virtual amid the pandemic, Soumi Ghosh, a software engineer at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said, that in her home town - Kolkata- Durga Puja is a huge festival and it starts from the fifth day of Navratri and ends on Dussehra. Ghosh also shared that open pandals have been installed at some places so, that people can drive by and receive darshan of the idols, and this will maintain social distancing."

As she talked about the virtual celebration, the software engineer said, "My childhood friend has pooja at her home, and we all used to visit her home on Ashtami (eighth day) every year, but since the pandemic is there - we the childhood school friends are planning to do a video conference call. And to do this my friend Anjali said she will hold the phone close to the pandal so that we can all take the blessings of Goddess Durga."

An interior designer, Jasmita Pattnaik, who stays in Delhi, and hails from Odisha, shared how the celebration of the festival has been changed amid the pandemic. (ANI)








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