Grand Red Road show leaves audience spellbound
Calling the event “the biggest carnival”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. “History has been created on Red Road with a combination of innovation and art.” She said she would ask Debashis Sen, Chairman of West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation, to find a plot of land near Prakriti Tirtha where best images depicting the highest form of art could be displayed. From next year, the carnival will be of bigger magnitude where 75 idols will take part in the gala show. Banerjee said this year only 39 could be accommodated.
She greeted all the Puja organisers who walked in the rally ahead of their tableaus depicting the theme on which their respective mandaps were erected. The Puja organizers, too, expressed their gratitude for the initiative of the government to showcase the best idols in the city.
Besides ministers and senior officials, eminent artistes including singer Dwijen Mukhopadhyay, Haimanti Shukla, Purnadas Baul and former captain of the Indian cricket team and president of Cricket Association of Bengal Sourav Ganguly also witnessed the grand show of the idols on Red Road this evening.
The procession began soon after Chief Minister reached the venue at 5 pm and it continued for next three hours highlighting the rich tradition and culture of Bengal.
People started pouring into Red Road 2 pm onwards to secure the best seat so that they didn’t miss a single moment of the procession. Both sides of the road were teeming with people much ahead of the rally. People broke into loud cheers as the tableaus with idols of goddess Durga started moving on Red Road from Fort William end to Police Memorial.
The iconic 1.5-km long stretch looked majestic after sundown when the lights came on. Elocutionist Satinath Mukhopadhyay’s running commentary on the parade was an added attraction. There was also commentary in English for overseas visitors.
Around 100 members of a Durga Puja committee were allowed to walk in the procession ahead of their tableaus. Members of all the committees sported dhoti and kurta while the women were clad in the traditional white sarees with a red border. The women blew conch shells, while the men chanted “Bolo Durga Mai Ki Joy”. Visitors from different parts of the world who were watching the procession were spellbound seeing the enthusiasm of the people of Kolkata and waved at the Puja organisers as they passed by.
Puja committees pulled out all stops in decorating the tableaus. Children of committee members danced in front of the main dais from where the chief minister and other dignitaries were watching the event.
In a touching moment, the chief minister came down from the stage when a girl from College Square Sarbojonin was performing and handed her a bouquet as a token of love.
The procession ended with the Chief Minister reciting hymns.The grand show came to an end with eminent singers singing the National Anthem. Kolkata police played a stellar role in diverting traffic to alternate roads when Red Road remained closed for the procession. Also, people watched the Red Road rally through live streaming on the website of Kolkata Police.