Poila Boishakh or the Bengali New Year was observed this year amid a raging pandemic in the country. This is the second straight year that people spent Poila Boishakh in the shadow of Covid-19. The usual enthusiasm, colour and fervour were missing as infections and the number of deaths climbed on Thursday in many parts of the country. Twitter was flooded with Shubho Nabo Barsho greetings. Pictures, messages and gifs posted on social media by political leaders, celebs and others added some colour to the Nabo Barsho. Here’s how Poila Boishakh looked amid the horrible pandemic.
In pics: Poila Boishakh 2021
Temples in various parts of West Bengal including Kolkata saw fewer people than earlier years. The morning pujas were done by priests but people avoided turning up early to watch the first sunrise of the year. Later in the day, many were seen flouting norms of maintaining social distance at temples and markets.
Vendors selling notun khata or the new books of accounts, with the traditional red cloth cover, had fewer buyers. For many it was a brisk walk to the temple for a quick small puja with a box of sweets and some flowers. The queue at temples however became longer as the day progressed and a number of them were also seen without masks.
This is also the time when Muslims are celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. Unlike other years, customers were missing from shops selling goodies in Delhi’s Jama Masjid area. “People are scared because of the corona, customers are not coming to the market. There is no work at all, everyone is in a very bad condition,” a shop owner was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
At Agartala in Tripura, people were seen flouting Covid-linked guidelines at the Chaitra Mela on the eve of the Bengali New Year.
Shubho Nabo Barsho!