Tuesday, September 27, 2005

durga puja celebrations world wide

The mother of all festivals is breathing down our necks. For those directly involved in the celebrations, it is panic raised to the power of infinity. Beginning from arranging for the inauguration till the immersion, there are umpteen plus one steps, innumerable number of bridges to be crossed, thousands of obstacles to be overcome. The funds of most of the Pujas are obtained through advertisements of sponsors and patrons in the Souvenir booklets. Managing to get hold of these advertisements is an art by itself and, in every committee there is a handful who have mastered this art. Obviously, they enjoy better status in society and more privileges. Rome was not built in a day; Durga Puja also is not an affair that you can complete within a time frame. The time frame invariably gets distorted, budgets go haywire and tempers become unmanageable. In spite of these known hardships, the rituals go on and on, old committees give way to the new, concepts undergo changes, festivities that once were restricted to close-knit groups have now surrendered to the dictates of corporate houses. After all, it is a part of the game known as promotions. The corporate sponsors a Puja to promote its image in the market – as you trudge through the maze of people, you are compelled to see posters, and banners of those who have taken pains to ensure that their brands are etched forever in not only your memory but the memories of all those around you, including your toddlers.

Now, about some celebrations out of Bengal but in India – the first is in Mumbai. There are several high budget Pujas here and, being closely associated with Bollywood, the glamour factor is great. The oldest is the Mumbai Durgabari Samiti Sarbojanin – this year it is in its 76th year, the budget is around thirty lakhs. Dadar Shivajipark pujas is in its 70th year and the tentative budget is eighteen to twenty lakhs. Kallol Kalibari Durgotsav is in its 40th year, budget fifteen lakhs. The one in Bandra is in its 33rd year, budget twenty lakhs. Other venues are the Khar Ramkrishna Mission, Chembur Durga Puja Association (budget 20 lakhs), Bhandup Durgotsav Samiti (21 years, eight lakhs), Vashi New Bombay Association (budget 33 lakhs), Vashi Cultutral Association (budget fifteen to eighteen lakhs), Kopar Khairan Bengali Association in Navi Mumbai (budget twenty lakhs), Nerul Aamra Probasi (five lakhs).

The Lokhandawala Sarbojanin Pujas of playback singer Abhijeet in Mumbai is in its tenth year. Its budget is reported to be the largest. Read more on this –

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1041020/asp/frontpage/story_3905320.asp

In nearby Thane, there are six to seven Pujas and in Pune, twelve to fourteen. Close by Nashik boasts of four major ones – like the ones in the Government of India Press, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the Air force in Ojhar, then the one in the industrial area of Satpur-Ambad.

Regarding Pujas in other locations, especially overseas, the following links are worth a visit -

http://www.rumela.com/events/durga_puja_overseas.htm

Durga Puja rituals -

http://festivals.iloveindia.com/durga-puja/durga-puja-customs.html

other interesting links –

amaar duniya
throbindia