Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Durga Puja

These Pujas were simply brilliant, and I won't be able to forget this Durga Puja period for a long time now. I really enjoyed myself, and it was momentous for me in many ways.
Sashti - On Sashthi day, not officially a day of the Puja, the pandals and idols were resplendant in their glory, open for display to the public. That day itself, we started our pandal-hopping, visiting the Ballygunge Cultural, Samajsebi etc pandals. We visited Xrong Place, a new joint near Barista, and also went to Maddox Square, the traditional hangout during Pujas. The day ended listening to some excellent music played by Hip Pocket at my favourite place. We spent the wee hours of the morning riding the giant wheel at Deshapriya Park...which was crowded even at that unearthly hour. It was a great way to start.
Saptami - The day of Saptami began most auspiciously with a splendid feast at The Hub, Taj Bengal where I ate gloriously. However, Saptami was a more sober affair generally...pandal hopping continued, and we once again went to Deshapriya Park (we spent a lot of time there these pujas). Met up with some good friends and we were hanging out randomly. Didn't do much, but still had good fun. After parting with my friends, I went for a long walk, which took me past a few pandals and landed me at Park Circus. After taking a round of the Mela, and buying a little something from there, I went to Shiraz to eat. No better food than Mutton Biryani and Chicken Chaap to celebrate, according to me. It's the best for any festival.
Ashtami - This counted as my favourite day of the festival. My best friends joined me for lunch with the family at Lake Club. After having stuffed ourselves, you would have thought we'd not have the energy to move, but we did, and went to Lake Road CCD. We met up with some other friends there, and headed to Lake Gardens. After checking out the Puja there and indulging in some childish fun, we parted ways. I was to meet my muse at Forum CCD, and my muse arrived, resplendant as ever. Having not met for a considerably long period of time, the conversation went on for quite a while. I accompanied my muse to Maddox Square and later went for a walk. At this point, my muse and I parted ways...I dropped by my favourite place before heading home.
Nabami - It was difficult waking up the next morning, but I managed to do so. Met up with friends and hung out. Deshapriya Park beckoned again, and it was there that I got the call from my parents - they were going to Atrium at The Park. Now, I really enjoy the company of my friends, but I hadn't been to Atrium for a while, and the memory of the food there caused me to drop them like a hot potato (of course, they didn't mind, they weren't doing anything anyway) and head for The Park. You must be getting the extremely wrong impression that I'm obsessed with food and eat a great deal. That judgement is highly flawed, though. I am only obsessed with extremely good food...and I only stuff myself if the food is really good. It doesn't get much better than Kashmiri Mutton biryani, and I ate well. I once again met my friends and we hung out. Took an excellent video of a Dhunuchi Naach that we saw at a pandal near Poddopukur, and we visited the usual spots. As the night wore on, our company lessened gradually till only Eric and I were left. We decided to visit Mohammad Ali Park and College Square, since we hadn't visited them earlier. The crowds were huge, but we survived to see the pandals. We were going to see others, but my friend Eric, who is not used to as great a deal of physical turmoil as I was putting him through, was wearing out, and so we parted ways at around 3 in the morning. That didn't stop me, though, and with one last burst of energy visited the pandals at Bosepukur before calling it a day (or a night, rather).
Dashami - Dashami was sort of anti-climax compared to the frenzy of the days before. We did our usual visits to Xrong Place and Deshapriya Park, but the mood was more sober than the previous days. I parted company with my friends rather earlier than usual on Dashami. In the absence of anything left to see, I headed for the ghats. Now, that was a spectacle. I have been involved with immersions before, but those were of my family puja, Jagatdhatri Puja. Durga Puja bhashans are like a carnival in itself, and a huge crowd thronged the ghats to bid farewell to the goddess, prompting strong crowd control measures by the police. Babughat was heavily crowded, and Judges Ghat had less of a crowd but more idols awaiting immersion. But underneath all that revelry there was a tinge of sadness...the sorrow of the Pujas coming to an end...the four days of joy had reached its completion.


Blogger full tilt said...

i wish you wouldn't state everything. the power of the unsaid- say without saying.

but it sounds like one helluva pujo.

4:50 PM  

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