Rajshahi's Tiger Sangha Puja marquee has adopted a cautionary theme against COVID-19 this year as the Hindu community begins the five-day Saradiya Durga Puja celebrations amid the pandemic.The organizers decorated the pandal at Ranibazar intersection with masks and sanitizers. Every year, the Tiger Sangha comes up with new and exceptional themes, with legendary Bangladeshi musician Ayub Bacchu's 'Rupali Guitar' marking the occasion last year.
Over the years, the pandal has sported themes such as the Bangabandhu Satellite, Indian blockbuster movie 'Bahubali' and the Royal Bengal Tiger, to much acclaim.This year, face masks adjoined in circular shapes have adorned the stage, with images of sanitizers hanging on either side of the pandal while a symbolic depiction of the virus dangles from the roof.
The association's General Secretary Partho Paul Chowdhury highlighted the organizers' commitment to bringing 'fresh and exceptional' themes since its establishment. "The coronavirus pandemic has limited the range of our arrangements. Still, we tried to be creative on a limited scale," he said.
A priest, who has been conducting the ceremonies for the last five years, said that the Puja was celebrated on a much larger scale in previous years, drawing large and exuberant crowds. But the number of visitors has declined drastically this year due to the pandemic.The Durga Puja is being observed at 408 marquees in Rajshahi - 69 of which are in the metropolitan area.All the pandals in Rajshahi are oozing with vibrant colors but the celebrations remain subdued.
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