INDIyeAh the Fourth
The sweet smell of Shiuli’s mingled with the tunes of high flyer’s amidst the azure backdrop casts a spell on our minds. That spell is also known as ‘Pujo Pujo feeling’. It drives our monotonous minds to a wonderland, free from all shackles and boundaries, much like that nightingale of the yore.
If you are a Bengali, you know what I am talking about,
If you aren’t one, then also you know what I am talking about.
The lyadhkhor (laziness^tan 90) Bengali finds incredible energy from some ethereal source to go on an errand of endless pandal hopping.
The festival is an elaborate one, which begins at the tithi of ‘Mahalaya’,
It officially marks the start of Durga Pujo with the advent of ‘Devipokkho’.
During this time we finally remember about that good old radio which had probably been collecting dust at some almirah top or the other. The Bengali cleans it and puts new batteries in for that revered baritone of
Birendra Krishna Bhadra.
At 4 am sharp,
with attention rapt, he listens to the divine recitations… (Also sleeps after 5 minutes)!!
And so, the pujo spirit kicks in and mind gets more “uru uru” by the day!
This year I heard people where flocking to the pandals as early as ‘Tritiya’!! Thank God Pujo doesn’t begin from ‘Shosti’ anymore!
On the day of ‘Shosti’, I was standing in this huge queue at the Sovabazar Metro and in front of me was this elderly gentleman also waiting to take the metro to see the now infamous Deshopriyo Park’s Durga idol. I approached the octogenarian and warned him about the immense rush, he calmly replied, “That is what I am going to see!”
That reply really took me off guard, I mean, isn’t that what’s the spirit of festivity is all about?
The huge gatherings, the night outs (though I couldn’t attend one this year, damn you rains!), the clamours,the sound of dhak which resonates with your heart,the incredibly loud-speakers which echo throughout the ‘para’…we don’t get to witness these everyday…do we?
Standing in huge lines to get a good look at the idol whilst ogling at numerous other ones is truly a great pleasure.
Nihilists, Pessimists and Escapists will always want to get away as festivity, positivity and celebration are too much for them.
The ‘Ashtomi Anjali’ is an event of much interest, as people dress up in their traditional ‘biye bari’ attire to please the ‘shey’ and gather to recite mantras which one does not have a clue what it’s all about. It’s a day of consuming vegetarian items as if we would.
The day of ‘Ashtomi’ has another importance, that is reality check!
After going overboard on ‘Ponchomi’,’Shosti’ and ‘Shoptomi’… ‘Ashtomi’ looks you in the eye and says “Pujo is going to be over soon bro!”
The day that follows,’Nobomi’ is a day of living the moment with that hint of underlying fear of the approaching ‘Doshomi’.
It also features the much heroic ‘dhunuchi naach’-attempted only by professionals!!
Slowly, no…. not slowly, at the speed of light comes ‘Doshomi’,and we wait with heavy hearts to see our maa being immersed in the holy waters.
let’s face it we all hate ‘Doshomi’, people might show you smiling pictures of people rubbing ‘abir’ on each other after having stuffed the idol with deserts, but believe me, they are not happy, it is not humanly possible to smile on a ‘Doshomi’.
So, that’s how it ends folks, leaving us in a trance for some period of time when we are not sure,
Who we are? Where are we? Why we are?
It takes a lot of time to recover from the post pujo depression,
to see the pandals being deconstructed, ughhhh!
Still, light can be found in the darkest of times if one knows where to look
And that’s when we regain our enthusiasm, gather the last drops of optimism and shout with all our might…
“Asche Bochor Abar Hobe”
The images used in this article are obtained from google images.