Tuesday, September 11, 2007
35 days to go for Durga pujas to take place.banboos have arrived at each locaility for the pandals [shamiyana types of things] to be created.different localities and different themes.people are going bonkers shopping,all of a sudden it seems whole of Kolkata is out on the streets buying clothes like never before.Sale,offers and discounts rule the malls and markets.all in all everyone is getting prepared for the advent of pujas.this is one festival the bengali's wait for.throught the year.and in Kolkata it is celebrated with grandeur and fan fare.celebreations take place for 5 days.sleep isa abandoned and people walk for great lengths to visit the pandals and the idols which has won the best protima [idol] best mondhop shojya [decoration of the pandals] and alok shokshojya[lighting]
one of the special attractions is going out late at nights.for those 5 days all rules are bent and its time to rejoice devi durga defeating mahisasura for which we celebrate durga puja.with dhakis beating their drums in the familiar tunes,youngsters in their groups find place to sit and chat and exchange those appreciative looks with the new girl that walks in the pandal with her friends.many romances blossom during this time,some stay for a few months to a lifetime and some finish with the bhashan.
devi durga is seen with her four children:lakhi[goddess of wealth] saraswati[goddess of learning]ganesh[god of prosperity and success]and karthik[god of weapons and warfare]pujas begins with the first day that is shoshti,then saptami and then ashtami-where the sandhi puja takes place where 106 diyas are lit and 106 blue lotuses are required to complete this puja.then comes nobomi and dashami.on dashami is the bisharjan...where the ideal is immersed in ganges[the river].
when i was a kid dad used to take me too all those places all over the city which was unique and prestigious pujas or award winners.then came a time when i hated the 5 day long festivities,nothing good ever happened in life,even the television serials were a bore, i was a total spoilsport but then samik happened.it was he who taught me to savour the puja.he made me fall in love with the tune of the dhakis,the dhunochi,pujas and the essence of it in the best possible way.now i cant wait for the pujas to come.even the pandals being constructed has the smell of pujas in.those days of meeting up with friends and that special one,eating out and staying out all night...what fun!