Millennium Post

'Fata Keshtor Kali Puja' going strong on tradition for 60 yrs

Kolkata: Tradition reigns supreme in north Kolkata's popular 'Fata Keshtor Kali Puja', even as it entered the 60th year, with the idol, pandal and illumination remaining unchanged in all these years.
The Kali Puja was started by Congress strongman Krishna Chandra Dutta alias 'Fata Keshto' in Keshab Chandra Street in 1957.
Prabandha Roy, who took over the reins of the puja after Dutta's death in 1992, said, "We cannot experiment with the looks of 'Shyama Maa' (as Goddess Kali is referred to with respect), and with our rituals and traditions. We cannot let it happen in 'Fata Keshtor Puja' that has become a brand."
The puja, which had in the past roped in the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Dev Anand and Rani Mukherjee to inaugurate the festivities, has stuck to the same structure of the pandal — the replica of a temple, and also not deviated from the usual fancy lights from Chandernagore town.
Roy, who is also knowns as 'Fanta', is confident of drawing crowds this year as in the past.
"If we experiment, people in our locality, the lakhs thronging the pandal on three days since Kali Puja evening and our puja committee members will not spare us. 'Fata Kesto Kali Puja' is like the 'Baghbazar Sarbojonin Durga Puja' where tradition reigns supreme," another puja committee member said.
He said though the elaborate immersion procession has been scaled down, "On the 60th year, the immersion will be certainly grand, if not on the same scale as in 1970s and 80s."
The puja has its own Facebook page as well, with regular updates on the festivities every year. "There might be theme Kali pujas in Barasat in North 24 Parganas districts and elsewhere, but 'Fata Keshtor Kali Puja' is the most talked about Kali Puja in the state and elsewhere in India," the puja committee member said.
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