PC: Google Image
Pujo aasche”, “Pujor Bajar” these terms are very often used in every bong’s conversation during this festive time. Being a bengali-girl-born-in-Delhi makes the north Indians wonder what exactly I do in Durga Puja, why it is one of my favourite times, what is so special about it. I don’t know, if it is the fun I live, or the food I relish, or the new folds I release in my dress, the places I go, the laughs I share, the beats of dhaak I enjoy, or getting enamored by the beautiful face of Durga idol and decorated Pandals, the bhog proshad I taste… it becomes very difficult for me then to express the feel I sense each moment during the Pujo festive season.

Shopping Fever
Halter to heels, we buy it all. At this festive season, we help many clothing business to increase their market turnovers. We believe Pujo is the only time where we can flaunt the best clothing collection we have. And, this is the only time when your mom will never mind you buying even sarees, because we believe how cheongsam is to Chinese, saree is to Bengalis, and I personally do not find anything graceful than an ethnic sharee (That’s how we pronounce). Bottom line is, yes! we do shop a lot.


Rehearsals
Be it Robindro nrityo and shongeet, Abritti, Natok, Agomini, people with talents get a chance to showcase their forte on a mini platform of Durga Pujo. Even though if we are working, we do keep ourselves free from any schedule or business appointments during rehearsals. But before putting it on-live, we rehearse, and believe me we just don’t rehearse but we live each moments with laughs, dinning together, planning, ribbing each other, debating a lot (bongs are very good at that). All in all, a healthy congregate to cherish all life.

Mohaloya
Then comes the Mahaloya, the onset of countdown to Pujo. The day, when you can hear early morning chants in every home television. And the fisrt sound of dhaak, oh that lingers in my ears. The torpon performed by my father to give tribute to our ancestors. Finally, the arrival of the days we longed-for every year.


…And it begins
Newly dressed people, entering to the Pandal, greeting each other with smiles, the aroma of dhuno, seeking blessing from Durga maa idol, the chants in air, this is how it starts on Shashti evening. Then comes the Anondomela, where the home master-chefs, our mother, participates and earn pride and praises by selling their cooked meal in a mini food stall arranged in Pandal. This followed by some or other interesting activities throughout the 4 days: Shaptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami.

Mornings are mainly occupied with pujo rituals, anjoli, bhog and evenings with people thronging the pandals, flaunting dresses, relishing foods, tuning with the performances and late night chats and laughs. Along with these, different fun activities are organised where the age does not have any bar, from drawing competition to haadhi-bhaanga…you name it, we play it. How can someone miss the pulse of Durga Pujo, the Dhunochi naach and stunts done using the earthen pot. Believe me, the pujo is no less than a college fest, where you can even check out fresh crowd including both hot and cool crows and birds, hope u know what I mean. ;)
    
       
                          PC: Mukul Banerjee
PC: Mukul Banerjee






      













On second last day, navami, we hire a vehicle and start exploring other pandals all over Delhi. Mainly, CR Park [D Block, Matri mondir, mela ground], Kashmiri gate (which is supposed to have the oldest pujo), Timar Pur, Aram Bagh, Karol Bagh, Kali Bari  are in our list. Chitranjan park, called mini bengal, has the best Pandals ever and the street food as Moghlayi, Birynai, Chop, Puchka, jhaal-moori, Eggroll, fish-kalmayi, and other Bengali delicacies which we do not get opportunity to eat otherwise ( that’s something we Delhites bongs miss a lot, Kolkata street foods).

PC: Mukul Banerjee


On this very day, the crowded place does not bother us, walking for long does not pain our legs, even the new shoe bites are not something that can never stop us from having fun, and we do not leave any poses unturned and almost take shots everywhere…lol. We really do talk, walk, sing, laugh, eat, rib whole day. Even after screwing our each muscle, we are still left with energy, which will then be utilised for playing dandiya at night.



Time to bid good bye
The day, when married women, wearing saree in hues of red and white, apply vermillion to each other in order to celebrate the occasion, this is called as shidoor khela. And, the youngsters become actual Mawali, and keep tapping their feet with dhaak while moving towards the Yamuna to immerse the Durga idol.

 
PC: Mukul Banerjee
Believe me, this is the time that actually fill our eyes with tears, because we all come, meet, laugh all for one cause, to celebrate Maa Durga’s arrival to earth. So while immersing the Idol means you are again introducing her to the universe, this is Doshomi Bishorjon.  But still we end up our note with a feeling in our heart as “aasche bochor abar hobe” that means it is not yet over, will again happen next year. Then comes celebration of bijoya doshomi, when we grace blessings from our elders and hug our loved ones, and end up having mutton curry and rice, the most delicious savor ever.

PC: Mukul Banerjee


Well, after the all hectic days, finally I fall ill, either with stomach upset, or with throat and body pain. Having said that, there is no fun without these after-effects of Pujo, isn’t? :D I hope by now u must have realized how important and fun-filled durga pujo is in one bong’s life, in my life.


I rest my write-up here, time to breath a little… phewww.

Now, let the world know your Durga Puja festive experiences as well, please leave your experiences below. J
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11 Responses
  1. tania Says:

    Very well articulated article...Each word was reminiscent of my pujo memories...You made me happy and nostalgic...


  2. Maumita this is beautiful. I remember while growing up as a kid, I used to wait for Pujo for months with inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm. I must confess that the excitement has slightly faded away with time and age. I just lived those prepossessing memories one more time with your article. This is beautiful. Keep up the good work.
    Cheers
    Ranjay


  3. This is beautiful Maumita. I remember while growing up as a kid, I used to wait for Pujo for months with inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm. I must confess that the excitement has slightly faded away with time and age. I just lived those prepossessing memories one more time with your article. Thanks. This is great, and keep up the good work.
    Cheers
    Ranjay


  4. Thank you, Ranjay and Tania.
    Your appreciation means a lot to me.

    Keep reading. :)


  5. Anonymous Says:

    Oh beauty! Amazing words paragraphed amazing pictures.. it was a certain treat for my soul.. :)


  6. Anonymous Says:

    "Now, let the world know your Durga Puja festive experiences as well, please leave your experiences below."

    One side you are saying to pronounce it as pujo and on the other side you are pronouncing this festival as Puja. ;)

    I beg your pardon, if I lack here any pronounce info regarding this festival.

    Anyways I love this colorful festival, full of joy and pride. This festival should be celebrated all over the India, so that we peoples from outside Kolkata can also enjoy and view the cultural rituals of this festival.


  7. Lovely..u gave a tour of all..esp. for a non- Bengali I got it through:) It's a fresh breeze even reading this. How would our lives be without festivals?..And with this we are gearing up for our much- likewise- enjoyable festival Ganesh Chaturthi..:)


  8. Saurav's Says:

    Beautifully written. Made me homesick!

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/saurav-roy-choudhury/missing-home-in-pujo/148205835222703


  9. Anonymous Says:

    Amazing Article...:)


  10. Saurabh Says:

    Very Nice Maumita. Seems like Durga Pujo means a lot of fun. Loved the way you described it. Although its quite a big article but its very interesting all through out. Could you please try and define crows and birds a bit for us, rest i guess is fine with everyone ;) :D :P


  11. Anonymous Says:

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