1. Online donations
Call it the demo effect or the changing society that we live in. Online donations to ‘Pandals’ is the new in thing. Online Puja has been happening for quite some time, be it Tirupati Tirumala or Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Mumbai. But online donations to makeshift Durgo Pujo Pandals is the latest. Devotees across income groups are resorting to online donations and they are talking about it. Ketan Malde (name changed on request) donated unspecified amount online through UPI (Unified Payment Interface). It is first not just for Lokhandwala Durgotsav to have UPI based payments but the first Durga Pujo Pandal in India to accept donations online.
2. Signature Song
Bengali devotees are unable to stop talking about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has composed the theme song for a popular city puja since theme music has become a new trend among community pujas in Kolkata. The song – “Boichitrer muktoy gantha ekotar monihar” (the jewel of unity is stitched with a string of pearls of diversity) – is a big discussion point. Apparently singer Shreya Ghosal has lent her voice for the theme song that has been composed by Jeet Gannguli.
3. Pandal Theme
In Delhi, this year’s Durga Pujo is based on Woman Power (Nari Shakti) and many Pandals are showcasing the success stories of strong-willed Indian female icons such as Kalpana Chawla, Mary Kom, the Indian women’s cricket and hockey teams, and sports stars such as PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and Sakshi Malik.
4. Fashion designer
In a new trend, Big budget Durga Puja organisers in Kolkata are roping in reputed fashion designers to weave costumes of the goddess and her children in their quest for aesthetics. Fashion designer Tejas Gandhi has designed the costume of the deity of ‘Samaj Sebi Sangha Puja’. “My costume is a perfect blend of purity of nature and the richness of life and in sync with ‘Sobujer Obhijan'(quest for green) theme of the puja this year,” Tejas said. Devotees who are awestruck have made this part of their chatter.