Tucked within the Bondel Gate locality of South Kolkata, close to Ballygunge Phari, the well-known Amitabh Bachchan temple of the town is not going to see the same old October 11 bonhomie this yr, owing to the continued pandemic. Rather, because the Bollywood icon turns 78 on Sunday, the temple founders have organised a virtual meet the place Big B is scheduled to work together with his Extended Family, or EF as he loves calling them, in the midst of the day.
The birthday of Amitabh Bachchan, or “Guru” as followers in Kolkata like to name their beloved star, is the yr’s greatest do on the temple yearly. There is hom yagna and the ritualistic puja. Bhog prasad is obtainable to the ‘deity’ and, after all, cake slicing occurs. Festive fervour on October 11 has been a norm because the temple was inaugurated in 2001.
This yr, issues are completely different owing to Covid. Big B’s birthday celebrations and rituals will occur, however in a restrained method. Only core members of the temple will take part and, in contrast to different years, no outsider will likely be allowed, retaining social distancing and Covid precaution protocol in thoughts.
“We are doing a virtual Google meet on his 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 2pm 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 advised 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 yr, 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 yr, the temple members are distributing a 1000 masks, 1000 bottles of sanitisers and dry ration to 200 folks in Bachchan’s title.