SILCHAR: After celebrating Durga Puja in a subdued spirit in 2020, Barak people this year made much of the festivity with three day long mirth, jollity and of course maintaining the semblance of serenity and solemnity with traditional holy rituals. With the invocation to Goddess Durga began worship of the mighty deity with priests chanting hymns and mantras and the assembly of devotees and pandal hoppers making a beeline. The drum beats and blowing of conch shell added to create an aura of divine bliss.
In the evening, as the crowds surged in pandals, particular attention of visitors was drawn to maintain social distance and not to enter without masks. It was observed more in breach than in compliance. And that sounded alarm bell, will the puja crowds become super spreader of another spell of COVID-19? Puja committees did make bids to caution the over-ruling young brigades.
Some of the puja pandals which hogged the limelight for their theme, decorations and lighting included Bhairovbari Malugram, Rice Mill Puja Tarapur, a big budget puja, Premtola Bus Stand, Ananda Parishad, Tarapur Bus Stand, Ramkrishna Mission, Bilpar Durgabari, Link Road Medical Representatives' Puja among others. With crowds milling around, COVID protocols seemed to melt away.
There has been a rise of pujas this festival, recording in all 445 committees applying for Durga Puja as against 350 last year in and around Silchar town alone. The celebration was peaceful with security arrangement at its place. With three day festivity coming to end, it was time to bid farewell to Goddess Durga. With no procession allowed and restricted use of microphone, the idols were carried on vehicles accompanied by select committee members and immersed accordingly.