Sunday, November 16, 2008

Durga Puja and Beyond - part -2

Though we are almost a month and a half past Durga puja, and lot of things have happened after that, which I am too eager to put across to all, but then patience is the keyword :), for me or the readers....well its for you to interpret :)

I will fast forward through the rest of the durga puja and beyond part so that I get to being more current and up-to-date on my blog. On Astami day, it was time to dress up early and dash to the puja pandal for the pushpanjali to devi. This is one event very few Hindu Bengalis would like to miss during Durga Puja, unless due to some unavoidable circumstances. There is something very mystical about offering flowers to the divine Mother amidst chant of mantras from the purohit(priest). And then asking mother for her blessing for fulfilment of all wishes and desires and dreams. This is a ritual I have never missed from childhood............and though the innocence of childhood is lost now in the harsh facts of life, somehow it still feels good to believe......and then everything is there in faith.....you have to believe and respect........

Well, it was too hot and humid this time in Delhi during Puja and it looked like only Bengalis live around the place..as we were jostling and getting pushed by groups of people all around :) Pushpanjali was followed by prasad. Ashtami was pre-scheduled as bhog eating day....at didi-jijaji's puja in Sector-22, Dwarka. It was grand affair with menu comprising of luchi, dhokar dalna, alur dum, chatni and mishti, a typical bengali combo... On ashtami evening didi had a performance - she had choreographed and was lead performer in a dance programme of rabindra sangeet. After her performance, we were waiting eagerly for a much publisized rabindra sangeet performance, but unfortunately the wait for the performer to arrive kept getting longer and longer and longer......yawn...........and just when we thought enough is enough, the lady finally arrives on stage.........but disappointment again. This was nowhere the rabindra sangeet we were expecting. The lady was actually trying out a remix version on rabindra sangeet with additional beats from musicians, claps and some basic form of dance....recreating some form of bangla band??? may be...and then she was trying to pep it up by throwing some quiz questions in between accompanied by prizes for answering correctly.....well this was the limit of our patience and we decided to walk out. Rabindra Sangeet may have a limited audience but we do appreciate it in its true form. I feel it is a grave insult to the great works of art by the great poet to try and create interest in this shabby way. It is a real shame. Rabindra Sangeet is NOT for the masses and let it not be. But please do not try to disregard and disrespect something that is so sacred for most of us bengalis.

On Navami, we planned to go to New Delhi Kali Bari - one of the earliest mandirs of Ma in Delhi. We reached on time to witness the hom and yagna and then got into the queue for bhog. After a patient wait for around 1/2 hour, it was our turn. It was time to sit on floor and enjoy a true community bhog comprising of khichudi, tarkari, chatni and payesh. On Navami evening, we went around pandals in dwarka, for darshan of Ma and catching bits and pieces of the ongoing cultural programme on. Nothing seemed too interesting until we reached the mahavir enclave pandal where bangla folk songs were on. We continued for some time and enjoyed what we nostalgic bengalis call "matir gandho"....the fragrance of the soil........It was time to move on and after a little more pandal hopping, it was time to retire for the day....and say goodbye to Ma Durga for another year.....

Aashche bochor aabar hobe !!!!!! (Pujo will be there again next year)....

1 comment:

Pradip Biswas said...

Koel
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