There are two things a Bengali can't be kept away for too long. Sweets, and creative ideas. Here they both come together -- a confectioner in south Kolkata's Jadavpur area has fashioned a sandesh, arguably the city's favourite sweet, to look like the popular image of the killer coronavirus.
According to Sciencealert.com, the spikes on the surface of the reddish-yellow coloured virus give corona (meaning crown) its name. Most coronaviruses – such as SARS and MERS -- look similar on the outside, sharing the bump-covered spherical appearance.
That was enough to make Kolkata's top sweet makers quick to innovate. An average sweetshop in the city has at least 15 different types of sandesh, with variations in flavour and shapes. Top shops can have up to 25 different types. With winter clearly deserting the city, the bright-red coloured corona sandesh, that has a look of the red velvet cake, is now a top of the shelf offering.
After confectioners complained that thousands of litres of milk, the main ingredient of sandesh or rosogolla were going waste, the authorities allowed sweet shops to open for four hours every day from April 1. Rules for social 'distancing' shrunk considerably as delivery boys and the common man made a beeline for what was on offer.
But that's not all. West Bengal has tried innovative methods to contain the coronavirus.
The Kolkata Police, for example, used an iconic song by filmmaker-musician Anjan Dutta to spread awareness on coronavirus. Dutta's 'Bela Bose', released in 1994, has been a favourite across generations in Kolkata. The video went viral with many humming the famous number.
On Sunday, the government used folk artists on stilts to reach out to people in West Midnapore.