Durga Puja is slow but surely gaining more significance in the city. Although artists hailing from Bengal generally make Durga idols in Mumbai, the fact that the festival is now celebrated in places like DN Nagar, Lokhandwala, Powai, Shivaji Park, Santa Cruz, CP Tank and Vashi reinforces the festival’s popularity.
And now comes the news that Andheri Link Road’s Sarbojanik Durga Puja Mahotsav will install the city’s tallest idol, which stands at 22 feet. “Durga puja has become a very cosmopolitan event. In the last few decades, it has become a festival not only for the Bengalis, but for people of all communities,” mentions Krishnendu Sen, the mandal’s organiser.
Rituparna Sengupta will be the brand ambassador for the mandal for the second year in a row. “This is the first ever Durga puja mandal with a brand face that communicates and welcomes people to be a part of the auspicious celebration. As the ambassador, she will be intricately involved during the puja to advocate the richness, grandeur and sincere efforts associated with it,” says Sen.
The mandal will also host contemporary and traditional performances by artistes like Sengupta, Mika, Shankar Mahadevan, Pritam and his rock band, Sudha Chandran, Vinod Rathod, Rahul Sharma, Shaan, Saapna Mukherjee and Mika Singh with his troupe. Gracy Singh, Locket Chatterjee and Indrani Halder will entertain the audience with dance performances too. Jaya Bachchan and Anuraag Basu are also expected. Additionally there will be stalls selling food, handicrafts and jewellery at the mandal whose committee is made up of people from diverse communities from of the country.
Expected to host more than a lakh visitors for the five-day celebration, Sen adds, “This is perhaps the only secular Durga puja mandal in the city. Our members come from states like Punjab, Bihar, UP, Gujarat and Rajasthan. We even have members from the Sindhi and Muslim community.”