As the cars rolled into New Alipore Residency, Dhruvika Soni made it a point to be the first one to get to Rituparna and hold out a Jamini Roy replica as a gift. " I painted it myself as a sign of woman empowerment and I believe Rituparna is the epitome of woman empowerment in Bengal," said Soni, an architecture student at JD Birla Institute.
Moving to the small pandal set up in the common area of the complex, right beside the swimming pool as a fire- safety measure, the screen star had loads of little fans requesting her for photographs and autographs. The small ek chala idol added to the homely atmosphere of the complex.
" We are like a big family. It doesn't really matter that very few Bengalis live here. We all get together to celebrate Durga Puja and Navratri during this time of the year," said S. P. Joshi, the president of the residents' association.
A Festival of Joy veteran, the six- year- old puja put in a lot of effort to make it to the top three, taking care of fire- safety, firstaid as well as daily community lunch and dinner. Right from khichuri- labra to idli to Rajasthani thalis , this was a complete dhunuchi naach- meets garba celebration for the residents.
The apartment complex had also organised a dental check- up and health camp and put in place a strict plastic ban on its premises, encouraging residents to use only governmentapproved plastic bags.
Before calling it a day, Rituparna participated in the community lunch, digging into khichuri , labra and beguni and rounding it off with payesh . " What I like about this puja is that it has been organised mostly by non- Bengalis, yet everything is perfect. I loved the painting they gifted me. The women offered me bhog and were also eager to put up a dandiya performance. I had a wonderful time," smiled Ritu.
Text: Kushali Nag and Sreyoshi Dey Pictures: Anindya Shankar Ray Rituparna drums up a festive beat at New Alipore Residency.A resident of New Alipore Residency feeds Ritu a spoonful of bhoger payesh . Residents gifted Rituparna a Jamini Roy replica painted by one of them." I loved the painting, I am so touched. It will surely find a place on the walls of my drawing room," she smiled.
Article Courtesy : Telegraph