*Bakri Bazar Puja Pandal,Ranchi.
After the departure of the monsoon, flowers have started mingling with the autumn breeze. But unlike the past when this breeze heralded Durga puja, the festivity is missing this time.
Apparently, a wary quiet has overtaken the sound of Durga puja festivities. Though government offices were closed, market complexes and malls were open. But the crowd was thin and in the air, there appears to be fear of coronavirus.
However, some Hindus -both male and female-were spotted moving around in the market wearing masks in markets and malls. Many others preferred to stay home and watch puja festivities on TVs.
Now, when the Durga Puja Pandals are open, decked up Durga idols inside themed pandals look deserted. Keeping in view the COVID-19 scare, Puja committees in Bakri Bazar are keeping celebrations low key, hosting rituals following the government directives.
No wonder, Bakri Bazar pandal is spread over a small space of 500 square feet. The Durga idol of a small size -4.5 feet-was placed on a higher place so that the visitors, each standing away from the other while wearing masks, can see and pray from a safe distance.
The vendors were not allowed to open shops on thelas near the pandals. More, at the entry gate of every pandal, sanitizer and masks were provided free of cost.
Even immersion of the goddess Durga is planned to be observed in a simple way, say the organizers.