COVID Navratri: How are we celebrating Navratri this year?

A happy Navratri filled with the consciousness of touching

We have come to the second Navratri of the year, and we are still in the pandemic. Where we celebrated the previous Navratri in lockdown, we can at least heave a sigh that with this one, we can step out and see the festivities. Well, see the festivities… Really?  No right. Well, obviously, the city looks normal now but it is not. Where we have started stepping out, there is a mask to protect our air, a sanitizer to give us a sense of something is wrong and an inner conscious that pulls us back from enjoying. But, this is the new normal.

Navratri, the nine days long festival, followed by Dussehra on the tenth day starts from today. In the following days, we are to see Durga Puja celebration, dandiya nights and a compelling Dussehra all sitting at our homes. Every year, especially with the Navratri that comes in the second half of the year, is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and merriments. In Bengal, we see Durga Puja and in Gujarat, there is the Garba gala which is most awaited by all Gujaratis. And who enjoys the bonus are Delhiites as in Delhi, there exist huge Durga Puja pandals, dandiya grounds and the most loved of all, the Ram Leela. Well, certainly, most of the things are happening this year too but this is 2020, so everything is online.


Read more: Long Fasting hours can lead to health issues, reasons why you should rethink fasting for this Navratri

Well, not that everything will be online. Delhi Government had passed an order earlier this week allowing Ram Leela events and Durga Puja in Delhi, yet they are to be organised under strict COVID-19 SOPs wherein closed spaces, festivities can be conducted with 50% capacity not exceeding 200 people maintaining the social distancing with no one allowed without mask and sanitation. Where independent pandals are operating this way, the bigger pandals like that of CR Park are choosing to go online. Food stalls and shops near pandals won’t be allowed. Well, it is all okay. People are planning to do house parties along with watching the puja and Ramleela at their homes.

Well, a special mention here is a pandal by Barisha Club Durga Puja committee in Behala, Kolkata, is going to feature the murti of migrant worker mothers in place of goddesses. Marking the pandemic and the struggles of the migrant workers, the pandal owners decided to actually take the real-life examples of women power amid COVID to go instead of the traditional idols. Apart from the idols of Durga, the idols of Saraswati, Laxmi and Ganesh and Kartik are also replaces with migrant workers. The female goddesses are to be replaced with migrant worker’s daughters, carrying a duck and owl, considered as the deities’ chosen ‘vaahan’.

Well, we might not be going out without the fear of COVID, the spirit of Navratri should not go away. Wear your best clothes, organise a virtual meet with your friends and family, keep the Navratri snacking ready, and enjoy the new normal Navratri. We wish that goddess Durga blesses you and the earth with happiness and positivity. Happy Navratri.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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