#DurgaPuja2021: Neeraj Chopra to dominate lighting – Times of India

Kolkata News
With less than two months to go for Durga Puja, preparations for idols, pandals and lights are on in full swing. While the pandemic and Sushant Singh Rajput dominated Puja themes last year, this time the focus will be on the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, especially the man who won a gold medal for India – Neeraj Chopra (picture below).

“Tokyo Olympics will be a major theme for the puja at Sreebhumi this year. In terms of lighting, we are showing a javelin throw, which is a tribute to Neeraj Chopra. Apart from that, the lighting will have a lot of gymnastics too,” said Babu Pal, a veteran light artist from Chandannagar. The light designs are being sketched now and they will start making it next month onwards. “Apart from lights depicting topics of current affairs like COVID fighters, masks, sanitisers and social distancing, there will be something on fire brigades and helicopters too. Lights at other Pujas will mostly be on the ‘no mask, no entry’ policy and other usual designs like animal faces,” he added.

Sujit Bose from the Sreebhumi Puja committee said that apart from lights themed on Olympics, there are many other surprises in store for pandal hoppers. “The pandal will be modelled on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the idol will be a traditional one with gold ornaments. Other than javelin throw, we will include other sports from the Tokyo Olympics too. So many sportspersons made us proud this time, and we will celebrate their success with these lights,” he said.

Olympics beats Covid
Not just Sreebhumi, the Bidyalankar Puja Committee in Chandannagar has also decided to put the spotlight on the javelin thrower. Ashim Kumar Dey, a light artist from Chandannagar, is working on it. “Last year the focus was on all things COVID plus Sushant Singh Rajput. But this year the Tokyo Olympics will be the highlight,” he said, adding light designs on the Olympics logo are also being prepared. Meanwhile, Baruipur Chanditala Puja Committee is focusing on various activities by the Indian defence forces.
Kashinath Das, another light artist from Chandannagar, informed the Sarbariea Durga Puja Committee in south 24 Parganas is getting lights themed on javelin throw too. “There will be a big cut-out of Neeraj Chopra with the Olympics logo and a message saying – ‘you made our country proud’. Other puja committees are keeping it simple. They still want lights on COVID awareness as the pandemic is not over yet,” said Das.
Tapan Ghosh, a light artist from Chandannagar, has started getting queries for Olympics lighting. “Members from Chorbagan Sarbojonin in Girish Park and Jodhpur Park Durga Puja have approached me to make Tokyo Olympics the central theme of their lighting. Javelin throw will be there for sure, but I am still thinking of what more can be added to it,” said Ghosh.

A low-key puja
However, most Pujas in the city will continue to keep it a low-key affair after the pandemic hit their budgets and in turn, grandeur last year. Debasish Kumar from Tridhara Akal Bodhon said, “There will be no splendour in terms of lighting, idol and pandal. We will only perform the puja rituals with minimal fanfare.” Similarly, Ekdalia Evergreen Club will organise a simple Puja. “Our jharbati inside the pandal is our USP. So, we will follow that. Apart from that, our idol will be a traditional one and the pandal will be simple,” said Goutam Mukherjee from the puja committee.
However, a few pujas are experimenting with the idols despite low budgets. Swarup Biswas from Suruchi Sangha said, “We have a limited budget this time and 50% of it will be used for social services in and around Kolkata. Nevertheless, like previous years, this year too we are looking at an innovative idol of Ma Durga, but the pandal and lighting will be simpler.”

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/durgapuja2021-neeraj-chopra-to-dominate-lighting/articleshow/85522002.cms