Even an invincible goddess cannot spare one of her 10 hands to hitch up her sari while battling asuras or demons in a puddle.
But when Goddess Durga does that in a city prone to politicking over water-logging, it can be too loaded a statement. It proved to be so on Saturday, at least for the rain gods.
Half of this 216 sq km capital of Assam went under water following a two-hour downpour Saturday morning. Besides washing out the Navami – ninth day of the 10-day Durgotsav – festivities, it partly drowned the Durga idols in a quarter of some 550 Puja pandals across the city.
The Central Guwahati areas suffered the most with at least 10 Puja committees forced to shift to higher grounds “to somehow complete the rituals”. The worst hit was the puja that the Lachit Nagar Jyoti Sangha Committee had organized.
Durga and her celestial family were ironically shown here wading in a pool of water, too preoccupied with avoiding the muck around to fight Mahishasura, equally at sea.
After Saturday’s downpour, the idols were chest-deep in sewerage. The water level dropped only a couple of inches by evening.
“Our theme was far from political. We showed the plight of the common man and the failure of those who matter in providing a solution,” said the Puja committee vice-president Sanjeeb Kalita.
But a dummy car beside the idol with Guwahati Development Department Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma peering out of the window said otherwise. The car went under water too, as if to remind the minister of his refusal to acknowledge the city’s water-logging problem.
Sarma, in New Delhi, could not be contacted. The city’s Deputy Commissioner Prateek Hajela said the authorities were trying their best to ensure the final day of Durga Puja festivities was not washed out.