New Delhi: As the festive season grips India, residents of Lotus Panache in Noida are all geared up to celebrate Durga Puja in style. In the apartment system of dwelling, the para culture has faded long back. Therefore, residents of this apartment complex come together during the five days of the Puja. It is an opportunity when kids make new friends, teenagers find their running mates and middle-aged people find their jogging partners.
Residents of this society have come from diverse backgrounds. It was in 2015 when a group of puja enthusiasts decided to organize a Durga Puja in their colony. The idea surfaced when a group of Bengali residents had gathered together to celebrate Saraswati Puja. The plan gradually gained momentum as more and more enthusiasts joined in to welcome the ten-handed goddess, riding a lion along with her children.
Irrespective of one’s religious faith, Lotus Panache’s Puja has become the most awaited event in the cultural calendar of the society. “Everyone comes forward and contributes to the fund,” said Dr Suman Banerjee, organizer of the festival. “We take utmost care in performing the rituals as per tradition and for that purpose, our priest comes from Haridwar and performs puja as per the ‘suddhomat’ said Banerjee.
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If you are a culture connoisseur, the festival’s collective frenzy will hold a special draw. On all five days of the puja, there are various cultural programs, demonstrated by the residents of the society. All age groups participate in the competitions. One of the prominent customs and most awaited activity during Durga Puja is the dhunuchi naach. This devotional form of dance is also performed by residents which is a treat to watch. Professional artists perform in the Lotus Panache Durga Puja as well.
Any Bengali festival is incomplete without food. Food is a big draw here, as a mix of traditional Bengali recipes and north Indian delicacies find a place in the menu. All residents have breakfast, lunch and dinner in the pandal, all together. The puja committee also organizes a Bhandara on Saptami. The lavish bhog around lunchtime is a speciality. The ‘protima’ or the idol is procured locally and the pandal is theme based. This year, the theme is rural Bengal.
On Dashami, the last day of the puja, the ‘bisarjan’ or immersion takes place. But before, ‘sindoor khela’ or the vermillion game is played by the ladies to celebrate the oneness of womanhood. This inclusive celebration then comes to an end with Lotus Panache residents proceeding to immerse the idol.
Spread across 41 lush green acres, this green residential estate is strategically located in sector 110 of Noida. So if you are planning to visit a new-age culture-soaked puja, you ought to visit Lotus Panache next week.