After Calcutta HC vaccination directive, complexes bring back pushpanjali, sindur khela – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Several housing complexes are reintroducing Puja rituals like, pushpanjali and sindur khela, though they were initially kept out of the list this time, fearing the community activities might help spread the novel coronavirus. While many organizers have allowed the rituals, the participants have been divided into small groups and assigned particular time slots to ensure safety.
The Calcutta high court, in an order on October 1, had declared that Durga Puja pandals should be off-limits for visitors. But it modified the order and on October 7, allowed people to enter pandals — including for rituals, like pushpanjali and sindur khela — if they were fully vaccinated against Covid. This order is meant for baroari Pujas.
Going by the earlier order, it was decided that housing complex residents would listen to the anjali mantras on the microphones from their homes or follow the priest live on social media pages and offer anjalis at home. This was supposed to be a repeat of last year’s practice, adopted for Covid safety. Residents had also agreed to it and the complexes had planned that only a few designated residents would enter the pandals. But after the HC modified the norm—albeit the directive is for baroari Pujas—many complexes complexes have decided to include residents in the rituals, but after taking permission from the authorities and following safety measures.
Most complexes have decided that 15 people will be allowed to enter the pandals at a time for anjali and sindur khela. “We will go on repeating anjali so that all interested residents can take part. We have a sprawling pandal and there will be no question of overcrowding. Some people would want to stay back at home and follow the anjali on the social media page,” said Manoj Gupta, secretary of South City Residency.
In some complexes, such as Siddha Pines, coupons bearing time slots are being distributed among residents. “We will have 20 residents per slot. They will not be allowed to bring flowers. All flowers will be sanitised here,” said president Manav Mehra. For sindur khela, only two women will be allowed on stage at a time.
The organising committee at Silver Spring is also dividing residents in batches for both anjali and sindur khela, says secretary Indranil Chowdhury. The scene was similar at Upohar Housing Complex. “We will hold several sessions of anjali and sindur khela, following the HC order. We will ensure social distancing during anjali. It will be a tough job for the organisers but has to be done,” said resident Sudeep Ganguly.
At Modello High, Kamalgazi, residents have been divided into batches and have been told to bring their own flowers. But they will have to carry the flowers back after anjali is over. sindur khela would be restricted to three families at a time, said co-ordinator Joydeep Mitra.