Kolkata, Aug 31: Durga Puja, the Bengalis' mega carnival, has of late earned the sobriquet of 'Theme Puja' with different clubs coming up with different themes to work on. Every year, the puja organisers try to floor visitors with innovation when it comes to the making of puja pandals. There are unique themes and art that not only aim to be distinctive but also deliver a meaningful message. Pandal-hopping is not only a matter of fun, but also a way to realise the kind of ideologies that are dominating the current society. Durga Puja pandals are known to be modelled on various themes. Puja committees explore all types of creative avenues to attract masses. However, social issues are gradually emerging as a central theme for many popular pujas in Kolkata. Besides experimenting with themes, organisers are exploring newer techniques in creating the idols. Nowadays, more and more pujas have turned the theme way. It draws crowd in larger numbers, eager to see the artistic finesse of the idol and the pandal. To make the theme puja a success, pandals were built accordingly, keeping in mind the recent issues in the city. Most of the well-known pujas of Kolkata come up with theme pandals to compete with each another and carve a niche of their own. The term ‘theme puja’ implies those Durga Pujas where the idols are constructed in a non-traditional way, and the pandals are constructed according to certain themes, say, literacy, protecting forests and some famous buildings. It gives artists an opportunity to show off their skills. For the organisers, a well-made ‘theme’ puja means drawing of lakhs of pandal hoppers. UNI
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