Durga Puja represents a perfect example of transformation of local festivals into high profile festivals for touristic consumption. Although, the spectacles, as Kaleidoscope is observing since time immemorial is yet to gain touristic attention compared to what even the monotonous evening prayer gets at Varanasi.
|Constructed space and spectators in AE (1) block of Salt Lake 2012|
There may be two major positions, first, urban festivals gives boom to the city economy as we all see a rise in the consumption habit of Kolkatans. Second, and more importantly there is an element of ethnic pride and we can argue that the puja reinforces the content and meaning of collective identification.
|Shibmandir's Puja at South Kolkata. It is classic mix if tradition and modern going hand in hand. The ritualistic part is controlled by the Temple committee and the decorations, etc. by a separate committee.|
|Gates with advertisement is one of the most important source of revenue - taken at Ekdalia Evergreen pandal 2012|
Competition between different Puja pandals are now sponsored (taken from website)
The aestheticisation of every day life comes alive a few months before the actual commencement of the puja. Kaleidoscope is no exception. He accompanies the queen to several "good", aesthetically charming stores to buy materials of aestheticisation. It costs huge... but Kaleidoscope and the Queen finds it a pleasureful pursuit to buy clothes in this once in a year indulgence of consumerist selves.