Navratri revellers and devotees of Goddess Durga can expect more than just the usual fare of dandiya raas and pujas this year. Several organisers are thinking out of the box to introduce new themes and concepts to their events.
At the Naidu Club mandal in Borivli's Kora Kendra, revellers will get a dose of humour along with the regular Navratri songs, as the organisers are hiring singer Nilesh Thakkar from Gujarat to entertain the crowd with humorous Gujarati songs.
"We have introduced this for the first time. We feel it will let children have a good time and add a fun element to the festival," said president Ganesh Naidu. "Last year, since Navratri started around Gandhi Jayanti, we played songs related to the Mahatma," he said.
Organisers of the Mulund Yuvak Prerna Raas plan to pull in youth to the festival this year by reserving time slots at the mandal for students. "We always have special competitions for kindergarten students and senior citizens, and this year, we have decided to have something for the youth as well," said spokesperson Neil Somaiya.
Several Durga Puja mandals in the city are also adopting attractive themes for the four-day festival. The Bombay Durga Puja Bari Samiti, which will enter its 83rd year, will dedicate its Durga Puja celebrations towards the 100 years of Indian cinema.
"We chose the theme of portrayal of Goddess Durga in Indian cinema to reflect the connection between films and Durga Puja," said Chandan Bhattacharjee, chairperson, social and cultural committee, Bombay Durga Bari Samiti.
"Several films, such as Kahaani and Parineeta, have projected Goddess Durga having significant influence on the characters, and we will portray that at our pandal through photographs," said Bhattacharjee.
The Bengal Club at Shivaji Park is portraying Rabindranath Tagore's Santiniketan residence this year. "We will show the ancestral house of Tagore with a 24-foot-high replica, which is the equivalent of a two-storeyed building," said vice-president Amit Chowdhury.