Contrary to what we’ve seen every year, this year the Durga Puja Pandals in C.R. Park had a deserted feel to them. The chairs were empty, the stage seemed un-used, and the grounds were empty with not many takers for the stalls either. The usual energy and enthusiasm, which one felt just by entering C.R. Park during the festive, was surely missing this year.
On talking to one of the organizers who has been organizing the puja at one of the pandals since the last 33 years, we found out that even he observed and felt the same. When asked for reasons, he said the main reason for such a dwindling number of worshippers were the Delhi blasts. The blast had shook the people and they are scared. The fear is making them avoid public and crowded places. Even during the evening puja, we saw very few people
Talking about the security, he said that proper arrangements had been made this year by the puja samiti along with the Delhi Police, keeping in mind the blasts and the security issues. Metal detectors at the entrance were a common sight this year. Eight CCTV cameras had been installed in that particular pandal itself. Along with the police personnel, many private security guards were also seen.
This year with very few people visiting the puja pandals, even the sponsors felt the pinch and were making long faces.
We hope to see the old fervor next year.