Dwarka: Delhi's vibrant social circle has been witness to many celebrations. Here, communities come together to enjoy food, rituals and harmony regardless of religion. In the close-knit community of Dwarka, there is double excitement among people as festivals are being celebrated after a 2 year long Covid hiatus.
With the Durga puja started, big and small pandals have been set up all over the capital. Kickstarting the celebration, Ananda Mela was celebrated at various places in Dwarka where ladies brought homecooked food to the competition.
CitySpidey visited Dwarka Kalibari and Aikotaan to enjoy the festive vibes of Anand Mela and to know about people’s excitement for celebrating Durga puja after two years.
'Anando Mela' or 'Anand Mela', which starts on the fifth or sixth day of the puja marks the beginning of the celebrations. This phrase means "happy fair," where you can only see the happy faces of the people. Rightly so, it was a happy occasion at sector 12's Kalibari temple.
Glittering with chandeliers and curtains, the deities had arrived at the temple. The celebration is one of a kind. Different from other getaways, here you can enjoy tasty food with home-cooked goodness. Several residents were seen in the venues enjoying food and sweets. This time people also made sure not to use plastic plates and spoons as per the guidelines.
Dwarka ladies who participated in the ananda mela brought in a variety of culinary gems from Bengal. Some of the dishes were chops, biryani, Basanti pulao, Doi katla, Pantua, Chilli chicken pakoras, cutlets, kathi rolls, Chilli chicken paratha, and Chicken with Kulcha. Among the sweet dishes were naan khatai, brownies, cupcakes , patishapta (a traditional Bengali sweet dish), malpua, shondesh, and roshogolla.
Many of the participants and residents expressed joy in celebrating the festival with friends, neighbours and family-
Sushavan Sengupta, a resident of Dwarka sector 12, says “I love the energy and vibes of this pandal and especially the food. After two years I’m attending this event and enjoying everything here with my family.”
Jayati Sengupta, a resident of Dwarka Sector 12, says “I’m going to Kolkata to enjoy the Durga Puja but I love Dwarka Kalibar’s Anand Mela because I feel a different connection here with people. So, I thought why not attend this first and I’m glad that finally, this is happening.”
Deepali Mukherjee, a resident of Dwarka sector 10, says, “After 7 years I’m attending this Durga Puja because I was living outside because of my work. I missed each and everything so, this year I finally came here to enjoy this Durga Puja with my family and friends. The area is very spacious and also I loved the fish cutlet and veg chop.”
Chandana Narag, a participant of Dwarka Kalibari, Anand Mela, says “I made Veg cutlet for the celebration and I was eagerly waiting for this day to serve people. Cooking is what makes me happy and when people like my food and appreciate it, I become happy. So, festivals are the best option to laugh and bond with people of your community.”
Rajni Singh, participant of Dwarka Kalibari, Anand Mela, “ Today I made varieties of food so, people on any age group can choose something for themselves. I made Moong dal halwa, Red sauce pasta, mushroom pasta, and many other things. I and my friends are happy with the atmosphere. After two years of wait, we are finally celebrating the festivals together.”
Vimmii, a participant of Aikotaan Ananda Mela, says “I made homemade naankhatai, brownies, and cupcakes and people loved it. I used to bake for my kids and gift these delicacies to my relatives and friends. I started my business with the support of my children. These events are best to showcase your talent to society.”
Mousumi Banerjee, the participant of Aikotaan Ananda Mela, says “I made one veg dish which is Dahi puri and one non-veg dish which is Chilli prawns. Everything is healthy and anyone can have and enjoy it. I love this festive atmosphere after two years.”