Kolkata housing societies gear up for big Holi bashes after 3 yrs, albeit with caution – Times of India

Kolkata News
After 2019, this is the first time that the pre-Holi excitement is back in the air, thanks to declining COVID cases and easing restrictions. While some are making plans to play colours, others are looking forward to a relaxed day sipping thandai and gorging on gujiyas – all in the company of their loved ones who remained physically distant for two consecutive years due to the pandemic. Among those gearing up for celebrations are Kolkata’s housing societies, where preparations are on in full swing for bigger and better Holi bashes, albeit with caution.

Cultural shows are back
With the national lockdown being declared days after Holi in 2020, the COVID fear was looming large and most complexes decided against celebrating the festival. Cultural programmes are an integral part of Holi but societies had to give it a miss in 2020 and 2021 due to the worrisome pandemic situation. However, it will be back this year. “With COVID cases going down and lockdown restrictions almost over, our society has decided to celebrate Holi in a grand way this year. In the morning, we’ll start with a probhat pheri, followed by a small event where residents can play Holi just with flowers. After that, everyone can join us for the celebrations at the venue downstairs,” said director Arindam Sil, a resident of Urbana, a housing complex off EM Bypass.
A few kilometres away, Udita Housing Complex has planned for a similar probhat pheri and a cultural event. “Residents will put up a show with dance and music performances. On the weekend after Holi, we have invited a popular singer to perform,” said Anjan Banerjee, president of Udita Utsav Committee.
A cultural programme is also being planned at Shapoorji Pallonji Housing Complex in New Town. “Preparations are on, let’s see how grand we can make it,” said Mainak Kanrar from the organising committee. Meanwhile, celebrations will start from the night before at the Eastern High Apartments in Rajarhat with a puja of Radha-Krishna.

Elderly still cautious
While the younger lot is busy planning, the elderly residents are still not very comfortable with the idea of going out and celebrating. “Despite decreasing cases, the fear is always there. And rightly so. After all, they are known to be more susceptible to infections,” said Anjan. Similar concerns were expressed by Dipak Kumar Sen, secretary of South End Residency near Joka. “The number of elderly residents is quite high in Kolkata’s housing complexes and without them, the celebration seems incomplete,” he said.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/kolkata-housing-societies-gear-up-for-big-holi-bashes-after-3-yrs-albeit-with-caution/articleshow/90147861.cms