Interview: Actor Biswajit on Chatterjee Family Durga Puja Mumbai on Completion of One "Yuga" with Elan

Vidya Balan plays the Dhaak at Biswajit's Chatterjee family Durga Puja in Mumbai
Vidya Balan plays the Dhaak at Biswajit's Chatterjee family Durga Puja in Mumbai

Kolkata, October 28, 2015 (Washington Bangla Radio): Veteran actor Biswajit Chatterji has been celebrating Durga Puja at their house in Mumbai for over a decade. The Chatterjee family Durga Puja is one of the most prominent and most visited Pujas of Mumbai.

Biswajit Chatterjee, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Pryma [WBRI exclusive photo]
Biswajit Chatterjee (center) with daughter Pryma (left) and son Prosenjit Chatterjee
Chatterjee Family Durga Puja, Mumbai

Prasenjit Chatterjee, Biswajit Chatterjee and Ira Chatterjee
Prasenjit, Biswajit and Ira Chatterjee

This is the 12th year of this Puja. In spite of  having a very busy schedule, the “ chocolate boy hero "of  the silver screen of 1960-70s , had a candid chat with Washington Bangla Radio and shared his thoughts about his Puja.

Biswajit said “This year our Puja has stepped into 12th year. ‘ Twelve ‘ is a number which is spiritually very auspicious and this makes it more special to us. Also Twelve years is regarded by many as one yug (age). So having completed twelve years ,  now I can say that I have been doing Durga Puja for one yug.”

“This year Durga ma in our Puja has a calm and peaceful look , contrary to the aggressive image that we see in most of  the Pujas.  I had specifically requested Amit Pal, our idol artist to design Durga ma in such a way and he has done a wonderful job.  People often opt for aggressive aura in the Durga idols as Durga ma is seen as the epitome of ‘narishakti’ (Divine feminine power) and a force that can subdue evil. She is the Mahishasur mardini. But I feel peace has more power than any offensive force.“ added Biswajit.

Ishita Ganguly, Biswajit Chatterjee and Pryma Chatterji
Ishita Ganguly, Biswajit Chatterjee and Pryma Chatterji

Tina Dutta and Pryma Chatterji
Tina Dutta and Pryma Chatterji

Biswajit Chatterjee Durga Puja Idol in Mumbai
The Durga Idol at Biswajit Chatterjee's residence in Mumbai

When asked about the cultural programs they had this year, the actor said, “This year our Puja was devoid of any entertainment programs because those  programs act as a distraction from the Puja itself. Also the crowd that gathers to watch the programs often becomes unmanageable and creates a lot of noise and havoc. So we stuck to traditional dhak only. But there were a lot of stalls at our pandal and they had brought  the flavors of  Bengal. There were food stalls many of which served traditional Bengali cuisine. Bengali snacks like 'Shingara', different types of 'chops' and other things were also there and our guests had a good time savoring all those. We played Chandipath and Rabindra Sangeet during the festival which further added Bengali taste into our Puja. We wanted our guests to enjoy our Puja in a relaxed environment which would  give them a break from their busy life. So we avoided  anything that was on the louder side. I believe we can create festive mood even without being loud.”

Actress Vidya Balan at Biswajit Chatterjee's Family Durga Puja in Mumbai
Actress Vidya Balan at Biswajit Chatterjee's Family Durga Puja in Mumbai

Bollywood Actor Director Rakesh Roshan at Chatterjee Family Durga Puja in Mumbai
Actor Director Rakesh Roshan at the Chatterjee family Durga Puja in Mumbai

We were also told that a number of celebrities visited the Puja which included Vidya Balan, Rakesh Roshan, Tina Dutta along with a number of television stars.

Indian Hindi TV Serial Actors Manoj Malhotra, Pawan and Tina with Pryma at Biswajit's Durga Puja
TV Serial Stars Manoj Malhotra, Pawan and Tina with Pryma

Biswajit was spotted having a great time as his son Prosenjit Chatterjee, presently the biggest star of  the Bengali film industry, joined in the festivities of  his house. Biswajit’s daughter Pallabi who is also  a  fine actor, joined the Puja celebrations.


Sisters Pryma and Pallavi, Daughters of Biswajit, Sisters of Prosenjit Chatterjee
Sisters Pryma and Pallavi - Daughters of Biswajit, Sisters of Prosenjit Chatterhjee

On being asked if he misses the Durga Puja of Kolkata, Biswajit said that he sorely misses the Durga puja of Kolkata and he used to miss it more in his early days  in Mumbai.

Puja Khawar and Pryma at Biswajit's Chatterjee Family Durga Puja in Mumbai
Puja Khawar and Pryma

Biswajit helps Pallavi on last day of Durga Puja
Biswajit helps daughter Pallavi on last day of Durga Puja


The Puja Mandap
The Durga Puja Mandap

The actor also informed happily that his youngest daughter Pryma Chatterji had been helping him day and night in arranging the Puja. He specifically mentioned that the decoration of the Mandap was entirely conceptualized and handled by Pryma which added a new dimension to the aesthetics of the Puja environment.

Reporting by Jyoti Prakash Mandal