Durga Puja this year took off with fanfare in Kolkata in spite of Covid-19 norms set to slow down celebrations. Many high-budget pandals executed their theme Pujas with panache, from a Burj Khalifa set-up to heavy gold jewellery for the idol of the goddess. However, the chefs at ITC Sonar and ITC Royal Bengal have taken the cake with their innovative idol. They have come up with a chocolate Durga, handcrafted entirely from the delicacy, Times of India reported. Not only that, the chocolate idols are fashioned after frontline workers who battled the Covid-19 pandemic from the closest quarters throughout the last year and the ongoing one, people who emerged with new skills during the pandemic, those who started off new businesses, among other things. Mahishasura, the demon who is slain by Durga, has been reimagined as the coronavirus.
The chocolate Durga has become quite the hit with clients, the Times of India report quoted an ITC Hotels spokesperson as saying. In this chocolate Durga reinterpretation, the weapon wielded by the warrior goddess is the vaccine against Covid-19. Her children and her lion, too, have had their traditional roles recast within the context of the pandemic. Ganesha has been interpreted as a scientist, Lakshmi as an entrepreneur with small businesses, Saraswati as the one who rediscovers forgotten hobbies, and the lion’s might represents that of the country’s frontline workers. The figure of Kartik represents the Indian defence forces.
The report further stated that this representation of Durga has been a contribution to the art of good versus evil that is being celebrated throughout the country, as per the ITC Hotels spokesperson. Kolkata is seeing some poignant messages in the city’s pandals and celebrations this year. One such puja organising committee has based its pandal on ‘Mayer Chowa’ (Mother’s touch). The idea of the pandal’s theme is to portray the role of a mother in our lives and thus equating her role to that of the Goddess. The pandal has aspired to depict a mother’s all encompassed personality through the various decorations inside the pandal, from household chores to looking after children.