Harry Potter, Anna Hazare add flavour to Puja

Magical exploits of Harry Potter and a fasting Anna Hazare -- puja revellers in Guwahati have never had it so good.

Last Updated: Oct 04, 2011, 13:47 PM IST

Guwahati: Magical exploits of Harry Potter,
armed poachers in the Kaziranga National Park being thwarted
by Ma Durga, wondrous mysteries of Ajanta and Elora caves and
a fasting Anna Hazare -- puja revellers in Guwahati have never
had it so good.
And as the proverbial icing on the cake of merriment,
revellers are lavished with diverse mouth-watering food, the
piece de resistance being special Chinese dishes prepared by
stat hotels for the occasion.

``An electrifying festive atmosphere prevails in this
hip and happening hub of the Northeast during the puja days
and we are all enjoying it,`` says a beaming jeans-clad
youngster accompanied by his friends at one of the well-known
pujas - the Beltola community puja.

A giant replica of the Kaziranga park has been erected
on the dias of the Beltala puja where clay images of poachers,
armed with automatic weapons, target the endangered one-horned
rhinos among tall elephant grasses.
The poachers retreat after being confronted with
demon-slaying Ma Durga mounted on elephant, her `bahan`.

Manabendra Sarma, one of the organisers, said their
effort this time was to highlight the growing problem of
poaching in the KNP and create awareness about preserving the
rare animal.

The Nayantara puja committee on the other hand has
recreated Harry Potter adventures through idols made by
artisans who saw some of the child magician`s movies several
times to bring forth the feel of adventures.

"Utmost care has been taken by the artists who have
seen the Harry Potter movies several times,`` Utbhav Das, a
puja committee member, said.

Similarly, pandal-hoppers got to see the exotic
structure of Ajanta and Elora caves at the Binapani puja

At the Nayantara puja pandal a replica of Ram Leela
Maidan has been created where a statue of Anna Hazare is seen
sitting on his fast, drawing a huge crowd.

A star attraction is the Bhutnath puja pandal in
the heart of the city where Goddess Durga is seated inside a
umbrella-shaped structure built by a mixture of 1000 kg masoor
dal, 250 kg mustard seed and 25 kg of `Bhuth Jalakiya`, the
world`s hottest chilli.

At the Kamarpatti puja pandal, Goddess Durga is
dwarfed by a 30-foot Mahisasura idol, his bestial intimidating
look look made more pronounced by blinking red lights.

"Our effort is not to belittle the benign presence of
Ma durga, but to bring to attention the presence of evil in
the form of corruption and violence throughout the country,"
Madhab Das said.

More than a thousand food stalls have been opened all
over the city to enable the revellers to sample choicest food.

``Our main effort will be to enable revellers to
experience the feeling of being in China. We serve food which
are favourites in various provinces of China including Beijing
and Hunan and this has become a hit,`` Pijush Kanti Das, the
manager of the Guwahati unit of Mainland China, said.