As the kaash phool grows near the highway land, the puja feeling grows even stronger. It’s not that I am a very big devotee, but this feeling lingers the mind with the change of season and this time is no different. The plan to Kolkata (the city of joy as well as the land of durga maa) happened all of a sudden with an itinerary that was quite exhausting but the excitement of the being with family made this little glitch really “little”!
With the landing itself the crowd seemed to be pulling us towards the pandals. The roads were filled with people and devotees going towards the puja. Each pandal was a story in itself filled with themes, decorations, glaze and glitters and most importantly: the viewers.
With puja come many aspirations…the new attires that are worn to get the looks of admiration…the sculptors work day and night to get those perfect eyes for devi…pandals are made months before the actual puja, to attract the viewers…the whole mayhem is only for the main 4 days which come and go within the blink of our eyes.
As the dashami arrive, people become emotional. They cannot let go off “maa” who had come to her devotees. Though they try their best to make her comfortable she has to leave. The last day bhogs, aarti, sindoor khela all are not taken only as a ritual but they actually try to mark a perfect bidaai for their mother only to come back next year.
These 5 days at Kolkata showed me the people’s beliefs, their hopes and wishes, their expectations all together in a bundle. As the day of my departure was nearing, the feeling of this puja was en route to a memory which will one day come back to me as nostalgia for sure.
With that even I wanted to mouth the words “ager bocchor aabar aashbe maa!”
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