And yes, Durga Puja is over for this year!! Aschhe bochhor, abar hobe. With Kojagori Lakshmi Puja being also done with, Bangalis are finally on their yearly depression period. Although, we are gearing up for Kali Puja and Diwali, this fortnight between Durga and Kali Puja is probably the worst of days. This year showed us an unique way to celebrate the win of good over evil. Slogans like, “Hete noy, net e dekhun” motivated us to stay indoors and evoke Maa Durga’s blessings. The saddest event was when the High Court declared Pandals as No-Entry Zones. But that was obviously for the good of the masses.
Durga Puja every year
I vividly remember every Dashami I have witnessed. My Puja begins at Durgapur and ends at my ancestral home of Beliatore. Thanks to Grandfather, the hanging balcony of our house overlooks the main road. That’s where we sit and enjoy the Bisorjon processions every year. Men and Women beaming ear to ear, complementing their Shindoor smeared faces. Children busy in bursting crackers and some people carrying the Ghots and the Idol. With the intoxicating smell of Dhunuchi and incense and the deafening yet blissful sounds of Dhaak, Durga Puja came to an end. However, this year neither could I be at Beliatore nor did grand processions take place.
Dashami 2020 was spent completely indoors with family and sweets galore. Obviously Roshogolla and Sandesh were the leaders of all delicacies, leave alone Puja Special Kosha Mangsho.
The way I celebrate
Every Kali Puja and Diwali, I am off to Beliatore. Our locality there doesn’t have a Durgotsav, but a famous Kali Puja. Therefore that’s what we cousins and friends there look forward to the most!! The evening of Kali Pujo starts with us siblings running all over the house lighting candles and pradips. Following this, is our night-long pandal hopping. Kali Puja being a festivity spanning the whole night, it’s quite common for people there to stay awake. The Puja ends at the break of dawn, and thus our time to rest begins. Next day is Diwali, and for Bangalis it’s pretty much the same as the day before. Exceptions do lie among the food we eat and the times we spent with our families and friends. Bhai Phonta or Bhai Dooj is another day worth celebrating, and so do we.
The Cursed Year
2020 is surprising us in every way possible. With frontline workers working relentlessly and people dying alomost everyday, this year is indeed a cursed one. The so-called unique way of celebrating our beloved Puja did sadden us. But yes, we tried our best to celebrate indoors. Corona is not over yet, so it’s mandatory for us to celebrate a few more festivities indoors. I am the unhappiest as I cannot be enjoying like every year. What to do?! So, let’s stay indoors and pray for a safe and free festivity the upcoming year.