By Arnab Mitra
Kolkata: With Bengal’s very own Durga Puja ensuing, the city of joy metamorphoses from just another busy city into a business hub.
With corporate players indulging in the biggest festival of the year, Kolkata drapes in a new look with banners and hoardings hanging from every possible place. The very first banner says “Maa Aschen” (the Mother is coming) and most corporate giants use this to showcase their agenda. As a result those associated with the publicity industry get to do a lot of work as the sector witnesses a boom during the season.
The entry of corporate players in the pujas has facilitated employment, with skilled and semi-skilled artists getting a plethora of works. From dhakis (drummers) to painter and other artisans, the corporate puja gives them a platform to showcase their talent.
Biswajit Modak, an idol artist, from Pallishree Sarbojonin Durgotsav said, “This year I am in charge of three pandals and I am earning a hefty amount of around 1 core. This is my annual income and I have to survive and pay my co-workers as well.” Mintu Pal of Deshopriya Park Durgotsav said, “We have to wait eagerly for the arrival of Maa Durga to begin our work and start earning”. Not only the artisans but also thousands of unemployed youths depends on Durga Puja for livelihood.
The lifestyle and fashion of the corporate Bengalis also change with the festive season. A few decades back, their shopping destination was the local shops but the Gen X Bengalis now order their garments through e-commerce sites and hangout at food joints like Dominos or ‘Sholo ana bangali ana’.
The world can criticize Bengal for not having a business friendly environment and blame the politicians for having an orthodox attitude. But Maa Durga understands the need of her son and hence won’t mind a corporate makeover. According to Professor Rathin Sanyal, “What Devi Durga understands our politicians could not..!! But it is true that Kolkata becomes the main center of trade and business during this festive season”.