london is the flavour of the Durga Puja season this year. At least two well-known puja committees in the city have chosen London as the theme of this year’s Puja celebration. Theme-based pujas became fashionable for the last few years, not only in the city but in the districts as well with thousands of revellers making rounds of the unique pandals. “75 Palli” puja organisers at Bhowanipore in south Kolkata, the area where state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee resides, are set to convert the 40,000 square feet area in front of their puja pandal into a typical London street, according to a puja committee member, Moloy Dey.
“In our small space we plan to introduce a slice of London where the Big Ben and the Westminister, two London icons, will be recreated to give the visitors a feel of the place,” Dey said. He said that the London street replica would also help spread Mamata Banerjee’s message of transforming Kolkata, once the second city in the British empire, into a London. Dey said the idol would be made from mahogany wood, dokra and brass by artisans from Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
The chief idol maker being from Siliguri in the plains and the artisans from the hills, which are in turmoil over the demand for a separate state, this would send out a strong message of unity, Dey believed. The chief minister is expected to inaugurate the puja, Puja committee chairman, former West Bengal minister and Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra, says. On the day of the inaguruation, the CM will also hold a video conference with the puja organisers of “London Sharad Utsav” held at Cambridge University.
Another crowd puller puja committee of the city, Santosh Mitra Square will also make the forecourt of their Puja pandal resemble a public square in London. The pandal will have a traditional look complete with a gigantic chandelier and traditional decorations. The idol will sport a traditional look with the saree of Goddess Durga made entirely of gold with zari work. The dresses of the other idols and Mahisasura, the demon, will also be made of gold, to be fabricated by fashion designer Agnimitra Paul.

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