Ask a fellow Bengali “what is so special about Durga puja?” he/she will have a hearty laugh first & then ask you back” Are you an Alien?” Ask me what is not so special about Durga puja. Yes!!That’s how rejuvenating those 5days are.
I used to rush, as a child, to see when durga puja fell whenever someone handed me a new calendar.
Tripura becomes a puja asylum with blazing lights, thousands of people in stiff new clothes. Entire streets get blocked by pandals.But puja is not about wearing new dress and offering anjalis.
Before 7 days of durga puja ,we’d hear the invocation to the goddess on All India Radio echoing across the neighbourhood & welcoming the godness to home.we have heared the same songs & same voices for decades.I am talking about Mahalaya.
The city is lit up like a new bride. Different patterns & animated graphics were made .If you arrive early in the city, you can witness craftsmen at work in pandals.Different pandals are themed by different artistic styles.
A highlight of Tripura during Durga puja is -you can get any food, anytime, anywhere. Streets,cafes,restaurants are a culmination of Cuisines-the variety catering to the crowd.
So yeah,you can actually have your craving of midnight snacks right from the stores.
While it means joy for some, it means an opputunity to earn bread for some.
Hinduism draws a distinction in the manner in which it worships the feminine.
It is also said that Durga puja is a Valentine’s Day for Bengalis. That’s because the atmosphere & environment is totally romantic.
Wearing new clothes & fancy jewellery every day because it’s all about looking best at pandals.
Yet, despite every venue brimming with high spirited people, there is always a sense of respect & discipline.
On the day of Dashmi there is a ceremony known as “Sidur khele”,where married women apply sidur to each other’s face and dress in traditional Bengali attire.
At the end of Durga puja ,we immense the image of goddess.I always feel a twinge of disappointment when it sinks in that the beautiful image of goddess would be immersed.
So basically the question we should be asking is “why isn’t everyone crazy about awesomeness that is Durga puja?” 😉