Like every year, the joy of Durga Puja had spread throughout Narayanganj with the participation of people of all religions from the sixth to the eighth day of the festival this year too.
But whereas every year it is Bijaya Dashami (the 10th day, on Wednesday this year) that is associated with a solemn air for the departure of Goddess Durga, this year it was Nabami (the 9th day, that fell on Tuesday) that got covered in a pall of gloom due to the countrywide blackout.
On Tuesday afternoon, the entire district lost electricity, alongside most of the nation. After 8 pm, electricity returned in some areas of Narayanganj city but most areas still remained without power till 10 pm.
For the three previous days of the puja, the district town was full of light, but today the mood of the puja was ruined due to the blackout. Many mandaps around the city could be seen ready for the celebrations on the surface. Every year, Nabami is the day when there is a lot of noise around the mandaps, but this year Nabami seems to be completely silent. Even though there are elaborate lighting systems set up, there is no light on the roads due to lack of electricity.
Nabami is usually the most joyous day of the festival. In Amlapara, we ran into Amit Das, who felt robbed of the climatic atmosphere one associates with Nabami.
“Usually there are so many people in the temples, there is no space to walk,” said Amit. “People are just happier. But compared to that, there are no people in the mandaps this year. No happy faces. No electricity, darkness all around, nobody likes it. Everyone went home.”
In Tanbazar area, one Mitu Chakraborty said, "Everyone likes to roam around on the night of Nabami during the puja. But this year all joy has faded in darkness. I went to two temples. There was no music playing. I don't feel good, I'll leave after a while. The electricity went and ruined the joy of worship."