Every year, during this time, the city of joy (Kolkata) is all decked up. The city doesn't sleep and its people make the most of this festival that spans over five days. Themed pandals, traditional pujo food, friends and creativity, the city comes alive. This year, as well, a few pandals in the city are opting for a theme that is not only innovative but also unprecedented. One such pandal is Dum Dum Tarun Tal that has merged festivity with celebration of gender diversity. Based on the theme, 'Tumi Dekho Nari Purush, Ami Dekhi Shudhui Manush' (you see men and women, we only see humans), people of Kolkata are collectively seen supporting gender diversity.
Upon observing more clearly, one can see that the idol is an amalgamation of both Durga and Krishna. Also, there is a rainbow coloured background, which is indicative of not only supporting the LGBTQ community but also could be seen as a bid, hoping and praying for more inclusivity. Continuous marginalisation of the third gender was the core highlight of this pandal. The entire decoration based on the acceptance of all genders also had a reference to ascetic Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's love for Lord Krishna. The artist has pressed upon the need for freedom to choose and love by sculpting birds. The pavilion also has huge masks, which are symbolic of the vulnerability of the LGBTQ community, just because they are forced to keep their actual identity hidden and also because of the existing fear of lack of social acceptance.
Last month, itself, a Ganesha idol had an LGBTQ+ flag as the background during a Ganesh Chaturthi procession in Mumbai. People were seen dancing around the idol and had no qualms in lending their support to inclusivity. Well, we can clearly say that Indians have come a long way in accepting third gender as an integral part of our society. Effort is now being made to depict the same in mainstream festivals as well.
Meanwhile, Durga Puja is being celebrated across the country with great zeal, fervour and some breath-taking decorations. Take a look at a collection of some of the pandals:
Featured Image: Facebook
Introducing #POPxoEverydayBeauty - POPxo Shop's collection of skin, bath & body, and hair products that are fun, effective and 100% fuss-free. To celebrate, we’re giving everyone 25% off on pre-orders so head to POPxo.com/beautyshop and take your beauty routine up a POP!