Kolkata(IANS): Themes as diverse as Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster film ‘Jurassic Park’ and cancer awareness or the daily struggle of potters, jubilant beats of dhaks, songs invoking the divine goddess and colourful folk dances marked the third edition of the West Bengal government sponsored Durga Puja carnival here on Tuesday.
Seventy-five prominent community pujas from across the city and adjoining districts took part in the spectacular road show organised on the arterial Indira Gandhi Sarani (erstwhile Rd Road) – the venue of the annual Republic Day parade.
The three-hour carnival, a brain child of state chief minister Mamata Banerjee, was held four days after Vijayadashami that marks the formal end of eastern India’s biggest festival.
In a bid to soak in the last bit of festive spirit, thousands of people including foreigners gathered on both sides of the road while lakhs across the globe stayed glued to the television screens and the webcast to watch the innovative immersion procession
The eye-catching spectacle saw the puja organisers exhibiting samples of various artistic creations used in their puja marquees on vibrantly decorated tableaux.
Banerjee and her ministers attended the event along with a large number of celebrities from the city and foreign delegates, while a number of state’s ruling Trinamool Congress leaders including state sports minister Arup Biswas and party MLA Sujit Bose, led the rallies of the community puja communities in which they are the chief organsers.
Religious harmony and women empowerment were the dominant theme of the road show. Many of the age-old community puja organisers came up with tableaux aligned with current affairs topics and various welfare schemes by the Mamata Banerjee government.
East Kolkata’s Sreebhumi Sporting club kick-started the jamboree by showcasing a miniature of their marquee replicating the famous Chittor Fort in Rajasthan – the residence of queen Padmavati. One hundred dancers, dressed in red Rajasthani fineries, jived to the tunes of Sanjay Leela Bansali’s 2018 blockbuster Padmavat.
Giving the event an international touch, Suruchi Sangha, a major crowd puller in south Kolkata, brought in 26 foreign disciples of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) who danced to the tune of a song composed by Banerjee to pay tribute to the Durga Puja festivity.
Another popular south Kolkata Puja – Tridhara Sammilani, designed by national award winning artist Gouranga Kuila, dedicated its theme of the puja as well as the road show to mother nature’.
Salt Lake’s FD Block Puja committee, inspired by famous 1993 Dinosaur-film Jurassic Park, paraded with a giant replica of Tyrannosaurus Rex along with their idol and replica of marquee.
Reliving the nostalgia of the bygone days, north Kolkata’s famous Ahiritola Sarbojonin puja committee mixed the old telephonic ringtone with the signature tune of All India Radio or ‘Akash Vani’ as part of their background score during their road show.
A number of puja organisers including Kalighat Sanghasree, Dumdum Park Bharatchakra dedicated their theme to women empowerment while Behala’s Barisha club conveyed the message to end negligence towards the elderly mothers.
Communal harmony and bonding was the principle theme of the old north Kolkata Puja – Swamiji Sporting Club, with which Swami Vivekananda was once associated.
Kumartuli Sarbojonin, the idol makers’ hub in the city, that used clay as its theme, highlighted the everyday toil of potters and artisans to earn their livelihood, through song and dance.
The special lighting installations made the venue resemble a land of fairy tale.