Maha-Alaya

This post was written for the occasion of Mahalaya for Ink Elan

Here’s the link:

PUJO

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.  

:3 :v

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.

INDIyeAh(the third)

Holi!!

The colourful festival celebrated on the last Full moon on the Lunar Month of Phalguna at the end of the winter season.

Generally, it takes place either in late February or early March.
People leave their sorrows behind and indulge in pure fun with a splash of vibrant colours.

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Many people though, claim Holi to be as hazardous as Diwali for it has an adverse effect on the water and soil.
Every year, people are encouraged not to use synthetic colours as they might cause fatal problems to the skin, but few people lend an ear to that, mostly due to the exorbitant cost of the herbal colours. The synthetic colours contain harmful stuff like PbO,HgSO4,AgBr,CuSO4 and Prussian Blue and these might cause eczema,dermatitis,allergy and the big daddy of all…skin cancer!
* #chemistry___dawg!!*
Precautionary measures are also made available to the commoners,
But who cares right?? 
The Holi swag is incomplete if the “bandor rong” doesn’t stay for at least a couple of days.

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*dumb  af*
Interestingly enough,
Widows were allowed to celebrate Holi this year at Vrindavan, thereby breaking a 400 year old tradition!
Tradition?? Nah!! It’s a bloody Prejudice!

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Some parched villages celebrated dry holi this year, that is, they abolished the use of water and played only with abir! They deserve my salute!
Also that, colours were substituted with cow dung and urine in some parts!!
Yes, you read it right!!
Cow dung and Urine!
Ughhhh!   :3

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In, Much Ado About Nothing, we read about a masked ball, we also use masks here in Holi, but for a very different reason!
It’s not that we don’t want to get ourselves coloured, it’s due to the fear of being turned to an (quoting the bard) ETHIOPE!
Big Boys in gangs patrol the streets in the hunt of a relatively humane face an on finding, vandalise it with something that resembles coal tar!
The wisdom that our elders give during the celebration is “karur chokhe mukhe rong dibi na” but we aim for that headshot don’t we?  😛
There is always that one guy who gets pissed off when we spray colours at him, and I have never seen anyone singing “khelbo holi rong debo na tai kokhono hoi??” at that time! I mean come onn! That’s the opportune moment!

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Bollywood has somehow managed to make anything white, the official uniform of Holi! All these actors wear the crisp-est of kurtas and salwars for the occasion, we are a bit special in that respect, rugged looking clothes spring out of nowhere before Holi, which is ultimately destined to be the all important “POCHHA”!
TV shows have an entirely different view point; “Holi special” episodes turn up during this time as the terrible tales of troublesome families take a tumultuous toll. I would love to imagine a Christmas Special of Game of Thrones where John Snow will finally with snow with the men of the nights Watch!
Normal People play holi in the lanes or open fields! But No! Modern Society has a take on everything as it’s too mainstream!
Various European-like-named clubs who present a
Holi                                      bash,
                                              Splash      *what not?*(featuring DJ Hubba)
Which is a big pain in the dash!

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“Rang barse” and “Ballam Pichkari” are the anthems of this festival and people go nuts listening to em after having pleased the mighty Shiva which we also know as “Baba sheba”.
*wink*
Social Media gets all crammed up with the posts of #boshontoswag and “Can u rcgnise me???” !!!
It’s great to be a part of all this! But it’s equally depressing not to be!!
Damn you boards!
*cries in the corner*
Thank you for reading about my take on Holi, (yes its over… yaay!!)  , I hope that I haven’t offended you or hurt your feelings! If I have I am sorry for being such a cynical jerk, it’s only meant for fun!
HOLI THA!

-THE CYNICAL GOBBLEDEGOOKER

thank you for reading!

INDIyeAh(the second)

CHRISTMAS

 

Before rolling your eye balls down let me take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.

You probably have read my earlier take on Diwali…

This is quite the same.. On Christmas!

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SO! LETS ROLL!

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Bengal has an extremely strange relationship with the British past. It’s something that has gotten ingrained in our society due to its long impact.

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Christmas is one of those times when the “Britisssar” in a bong comes to the fore. The subtle images of sitting by the fireplace slurping your tea and feasting on your cake takes a heavy toll of the minds of the people.

Nowhere in India is Christmas celebrated with so much joy and gusto as it’s done in Kolkata, it’s the living and breathing proof that secularism in India is still possible.

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Every corner of the roads are lit up with “tuni” bulbs winking at each other, there is really no need to transform Kolkata into London as it almost feels like it!

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Wonder Why?

The very city was created by them! The edifices of the aging monuments sans the maintenance provide quite a London like feel.

The festival in Kolkata not purely Christian as the tradition of having cakes in the “bada din” is of long ago. The inventories of the shops are nearly sold out by the day of Christmas. Some people during this time behave as if their breakfast is flown away straight from 10th Downing Street! “I buy cakes from FLURYs only…. that taste and texture…. can’t be matched!!!” I mean seriously? These are the same people who shriek at the very thought of ordering a desert whilst at a restaurant.

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Truth be spoken, I feel pity for the shopkeepers who got to remember the complex “Dundee’s” and “Black forests”. Throughout the year they sell “amar cake and tomar cake” and the sudden invasion of a “Swissyum fruit delight” causes much discomfort.

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The St.Paul’s Cathedral at the stroke of Christmas is jam-packed for the midnight mass which is broadcasted live on doordarshan bangla. Now, that’s one of the very few days when this channel gets some TRP. I mean really.. Who says…. “Damn! I missed the last episode of Mungerilal ke haseen sapne!”

The Riverside campus at Belur is magnificently decorated during this time! The bushes are trimmed to be shaped as giant Christmas trees while little chrysanthemums act as stars. A quite interesting fact is that the prayer hall of the Ramakrishna Mission remains packed as much as the St.Paul’s Cathedral.christmas_belurmath_2006 (7).jpg

People from the high society indulge in various social gatherings. Homes of people are decorated with Christmas trees often by people who have absolutely no clue what the hell is going on! So, why are they doing it? The answer is pretty simple..because the so called “phor-e-ners “do it! And people so badly want to be like them. Luncheon meetings are organised by the Tollygunge club. The setting here screams P.G Wodehouse. The men and women with their dresses outrageous enough to make the people attending the Wimbledon blush don these events! They are the “BABU’s” of Bankimchandra in all aspects.

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Thats pretty much what i had in mind. Its so boring that you might even fall asleep and find its New Year already on waking up!

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I WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS

I WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

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