its senior members.
“Everyone is so busy these days that we don’t have that much time to prepare for the Puja. Most of the senior members of the samity take some days off to put the programme together, but, even then, the number of plays have gone down. We have also started calling bands and artistes from Bengal to perform,” Sengupta says.
And while some may wonder about the the contribution of today’s youth to the Puja, Sengupta insists that the youth still take part in the Puja, distribution of the bhog and organisation of competitions.
Even though they are expecting a footfall of 2 lakh people this year, the members claim that they have not let commercialisation seep in. “It’s not like in Calcutta where pandals compete with each other. In fact, I know so many Bengalis in Calcutta who go for a vacation during the Puja because that is the longest holiday they get,” Brahmo says.
“We still follow some strict dos and don’ts — the samity member in charge of the Puja cannot eat non-vegetarian food and has to fast. He cannot have any leather on him and has to wear dhoti.”