Kallol and GSCA Durga Puja Registrations Sold Out!!!

This year something unprecedented has happened. The two major Durga Puja committees have closed their doors to the Bengalis of the area who have failed to pre-register in due time. Kallol organizers tell me that they are completely sold out and do not have space for a single extra person. They had to express their inability to accommodate hundreds of people. Apparently this year the township authorities have clamped down with severe restrictions on the number of people that can be accommodated at the Ukranian Cultural/Community Center hall where Kallol celebrates its Durga Puja. It is envisaged that the township authorities will be inspecting the venue every day during the festival during the peak hours.

This is indeed a very sad situation. Bengalis of the area have been coming to these Pujas for a long long time. And this is the first time, they may not be able to attend their favorite festival for which they having waiting year long, just because they missed the registration deadline in their busy life. Kallol did not even have a deadline. They closed their registration window as soon as they reached their target number. The community is buzzing about this issue, and sometimes the buzz in breaking out into loud arguments about whether the organizers have the right to restrict admissions to a “sarbojonin” or public festival celebration. But I think they are missing one point. Any organizer would love to have more attendees – because that’s what fetches the revenue. But in this country we are bound by several laws and regulations that prevent us from doing things the way we would like them to be. Moving to a bigger venue is also not economically feasible without a guaranteed huge revenue stream.

Hence, to all our friends who have not been able to register to either Kallol or GSCA Pujo, I’d request them to patronize the other two New Jersey Pujo’s this year. ICC of Garden State and the Garden State Puja Committee of Jersey City are having their celebrations during the same weekend. They also plan to have great entertainment program with bands like Chandrabindu from Kolkata. And I understand, they do have some extra room to accommodate few more people. Following are their details:

Indian Community Center of Garden State
Oct 4th & 5th
Eisenhower Middle School
47 Eyland Avenue
Succasunna, NJ 07876

Garden State Puja Committee
Oct 4th and 5th, 2008
40 Sullivan Dr, Jersey City, NJ

Also, I’d request you to become members of organizations like Kallol and GSCA, such that in future years your admission is assured.

9 thoughts on “Kallol and GSCA Durga Puja Registrations Sold Out!!!

  1. May I take this opportunity to thank you for the illuminating article. No organizer would like to tell their patrons” Please do not come to our event(S)”. Under the circumstances of different place, different country, and different rules of the land GSCA, Kallol, Dallas and many other place s are compelled to restrict the number attendee. It is very unfortunate but until we can find a better solution organizations will have no other choice. Hopefully with the time angry arguments will be replaced by logical thinking and constructive proposal .

  2. In this chaos of disappointments and angry outbursts, I am getting a tremendous sense of solidarity realizing the fact that the Bengali community in New Jersey has really grown into a voluminous and economically strong body. It’s a great feeling. Let’s live it up guys ! May be we can now think of some exclusively Bengali outfits like “Oh! Calcutta” and “Ganguram” or “Banchharam”.

    Yes, it’s time for Kallol to look for a bigger place. The Ukranion church has been the venue for Kallol’s Durga Puja for past several years and even after realizing the accommodation problem faced last year, it was unresolved this year.

  3. This is a very unfortunate thing as many people were looking forward to celebrate the durga puja through Kallol or GSCA.

    It would have been nice if they thought about it before considering similar things happened last year.

  4. Sudiptoda,
    Thanks for the article (…puja registration being closed). I am associated with the GSPC Jersey City Durga Puja – we’re expecting a large crowd too this year. We may have to turn back people because our infrastructure (hall/parking) would not support more than 550 people. We’re getting a lot of calls too.

    You might remember me – I am from IIT KGP 1983 ECE batch – Bhusi’s class. You had directed our fresher’s natok – but I’m not a natok person. But I was involved in TMS – represented IIT many times


  5. Thanks for sharing the information. its really sad for all Bengali’s who will miss the Durga Puja (including me)- specially the Adda — Just a thought …. kollol is a big organization with the strength of organizing big event – is it possible to find another place near by where all the “dukhi bengali” can meet and refresh themselves with adda and Kollol can project the live event happening at main place on some “Big screen”.
    may be its too late .. but “Jago bangali” .. do something we cannot miss adda & food with a cultural boost up.


  6. Beacuse of a large number of telephone requests, Durga Puja pre-registration was extended till midnight today, Oct 1, 2008 at http://www.gsca.us. As all of you know after 9/11 all facilities are under very strict supervision and surveillance. We must adhere to fire, life and safety regulations and therefore, cannot admit more than the allowable capacity of our facility. We have a larger facility and will allow on site registration until the capacity is reached. Last year this happened around late afternoon and we had to disappoint many who came from far away places. We directed them to Ananda Mandir and Bharat Sevashram. However, this year their Puja will not start until Monday, the eve of Saptami. We therefore strongly urge all to pre-register.

  7. Instead of complaining and throwing blames at each other, what is needed is smart planning. I think what is needed is to decouple the Puja/anjali/bhog activities from cultural function. The limit is basically set by the auditorium capacity which gets crowded and becomes a safety issue during evening cultural functions. Just like the food which is now provided in a huge tent outside, I think Puja/anjali could be arranged in another big tent outside. The tickets should be sold for either just Puja/anjali/bhog (~$35) or for combined Puja/anjali/bhog/function (~$65). This way a lot of bengalis can participate in Puja and may not mind terribly if they miss the cultural function one year.


  8. Catch 22 :-
    Bengalis are famous of buying “air time” without having any concrete solutions. It is needless to say that space is a problem to accomodate all the bong’s to enjoy durga puja. So, what can be done? Kallol like other organisation has tried to put some discipline and to stop people (so called sophisticated Bengalis) who likes to enjoy three days puja, nice entertainment and food without spending dime. As we all know economic situtation in the country is very day, prices have gone up significantly and that requires increase in Budget even to do the same puja for three days with decent entertainment and food at the same place.
    It is very easy to say that kallol needs a bigger place (which may be true)but who is going to pay for it? Where is the money going to come to rent bigger place which will cost more money and that requires increase in subscription.

    I even heard some people saying that Kallol should bear the cost of renting bigger place. My question to them is who is Kallol? All the 9 donkey’s (executive committee) or you, me all the kallol members?

    It seems like “Catch 22” situation.

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