Lucknow, Sep 30 (IANS) Necessity is turning out to be the ‘Maa’ of invention in Lucknow, quite literally. With incessant rains since the past one week having hampered the completion of Durga idols and Puja pandals for Navratri, sculptors and artisans have now hit upon a new idea to battle the vagaries of weather.
“We are using high speed fans and halogen lights to dry the idols and then paint them. We cannot paint damp idols and this is the only way out. Some of us are also lighting fire to remove the moisture from the room,” said Rajiv Prajapati, an idol maker.
We usually dry the idols in sunlight but with no sun in the state capital since the past week, halogen lamps, that generate both heat and light, and high speed fans are our only rescue, even though the idols are covered in plastic sheets and tarpaulin,” he said.
The inclement weather in Lucknow has also put a dampner on the puja pandals. Majority of the 250-odd puja pandals in the city are incomplete.
The Rabindrapalli Kali Bari, which is erecting a 80 feet by 60 feet pandal, modelled on an Odisha temple, is in troubled waters. Welcome arches and decorations have not been put up yet.
“A number of the arching wooden gates have collapsed. We had a waterproof sheet over the pandal, but the heavy rainfall has led to leaks,” said Debu Mitra, a member of the managing committee.
The La Touche Road Puja Sansad had hoped to ready their pandal by Tuesday, but the inclement weather has brought the preparations to a halt.
Sudip Sanyal, general secretary of the Puja committee, said, “Only 40 per cent of the work is done and painting of the interior is yet to begin. We have never seen such weather during Puja.”
Devotees, however, are determined to erect puja pandals that will brave the rains.
“Maa comes once a year and the rains cannot stop us. The pandals will be set up and people will come to offer prayers. Puja celebrations will not be toned down,” said Shrishti Mukherjee, a homemaker.