Tucked within the Bondel Gate locality of South Kolkata, close to Ballygunge Phari, the well-known Amitabh Bachchan temple of town is not going to see the same old October 11 bonhomie this 12 months, owing to the continuing pandemic. Rather, because the Bollywood icon turns 78 on Sunday, the temple founders have organised a digital meet the place Big B is scheduled to work together together with his Extended Family, or EF as he loves calling them, in the midst of the day.
The birthday of Big B’s, or “Guru” as followers in Kolkata like to name their beloved star, is the years largest do on the temple yearly. There is hom yagna and the ritualistic puja. Bhog prasad is obtainable to the ‘deity’ and, in fact, cake slicing occurs. Festive fervour on October 11 has been a norm because the temple was inaugurated in 2001.
This 12 months, issues are completely different owing to COVID. Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday celebrations and rituals will occur however in a restrained method. Only core members of the temple will take part and, not like different years, no outsider will probably be allowed, retaining social distancing and COVID precaution protocol in thoughts.
“We are doing a virtual Google meet on Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday where Sir will also take part. We had invited him and he has replied saying he will take part for a while. The meet will take place from 12noon to 2 pm with his EF (extended family) from across the world. We will also invite filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, comedian Raju Srivastava, and singer Sudesh Bhosale,” temple founder Sanjay Patodiya informed IANS.
“This year Guru’s birthday is special because he has fought coronavirus and defeated it. He proved he is a true fighter,” he added.
Elaborating on the plan of motion this 12 months, Patodiya revealed: “Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are not inviting people for celebration this time. The temple will be decorated and cake cutting will be done in the presence of 15 to 20 crore members only. Like every year, we will offer him bhog, perform pooja for his parents first and then for him, and then read out the Amitabh Chaalisa, after which we will cut the birthday cake.”
He defined the idea of Amitabh Chaalisa: “It is like Hanuman Chaalisa, where we sing praises of Amitabh sir and his achievements.”
This 12 months, the temple members are distributing a 1000 masks, 1000 bottles of sanitisers and dry ration to 200 individuals in Amitabh Bachchan’s title.