By Arré Bench Oct. 22, 2020
Many Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata have offered unique glimpses at the way the Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives in 2020. Some of these have gone on to achieve viral fame, such as one featuring a life-sized sculpture of actor Sonu Sood, who bowled over everyone with his humanitarian activities during the migrant crisis.
In a year that will be remembered for the global pandemic, even the celebration of festivals has reflected current events. As India celebrates Durga Puja, despite the restrictions on religious gatherings, the artists and sculptors who painstakingly design the pandals have not let that dampen their spirit. Many Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata have offered unique glimpses at the way the Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives in 2020. Some of these pandals have gone on to achieve viral fame, including one which featured a life-sized sculpture of the actor Sonu Sood, who showed how large-hearted he was with his humanitarian activities during the migrant crisis that struck the country’s poorer workers when the lockdown was imposed.
Honouring the efforts of actor Sonu Sood in helping migrant workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, a Durga Puja committee has installed his life-size statue at their pandal this year.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) October 22, 2020
The sculpture of Sood was part of a larger tableau at the Kolkata pandal, which depicted scenes from the country’s migrant crisis. In addition to the sculpture of Sood, there were scenes depicting the tragic instances where migrant workers sleeping along train tracks lost their lives, or when a woman had to drag her exhausted child on her trolley bag as she trekked on the nation’s highways, among others.
#Thread| Here is a Durga puja pandal in Kolkata which has re-created the migrant crisis during the lockdown.
— Pooja Mehta (@pooja_news) October 21, 2020
The Covid pandemic has informed the theme at many pandals this year. One popular (read: viral) pandal caused a buzz after it depicted the Goddess Durga as a doctor, and her foe Mahishasura as the coronavirus itself. The Goddess was shown slaying her rival, not with the familiar trishul, but rather a doctor’s syringe.
In the latest coronavirus-inspired Durga Puja pandal, the goddess has been depicted as a doctor with a vaccine, fighting Mahishasur who has been depicted as coronavirus.https://t.co/dpJwRPxGcL
— CNNNews18 (@CNNnews18) October 21, 2020
Another pandal that impressed social media placed the Goddess in the body of a migrant woman, leading her children to safety. The other deities placed at the pandal have also been reimagined as migrant workers, keeping in tone with the pandal’s theme of “relief”.
— Brifly. (@briflynews) October 16, 2020
Though the festivals may not be celebrated with the same pomp this year due to the virus, the fervour among the faithful remains undimmed.