Yes, it is that time of the year again. The countdown has begun, along with the meticulous planning to pack as much as possible, into those 4 days .Well, to be honest, it’s not 4 anymore, as we have somehow extended this to almost a week. But hey, who’s complaining anyway 🙂
Be it in books,Bollywood or the minds of people, Durga Pujo defines us, the ‘BANGALIS’. But what the non-bongs or o-bangalis (yes, we even have a dictionary approved term to refer to anyone outside the clan) do not know, is that, Durga Pujo is not only a week long festival of the Goddess and the ambient extravaganza… it is a way of life– atleast for those few days, and may be a few days before and after too ! (You can’t defy inertia, can you !). Our planning for the festival starts right after it ends that year, as we take note of the prize-winning pujo that we missed, or that gorgeous saree, which I could not get hold of this year .
An integral part of Durga Pujo is “pujor kenakata” or the puja shopping. Clothes for ourselves, gifts for the loved ones, things to upgrade and beautify our homes – sounds more like Bong Xmas, doesn’t it ? The drill generally begins from 100 days before, and all Bengalis, the classy, the blingy, the relentless bargainer, and the greedy take it upon themselves to get the best haul for Pujo this time. Shops too, be it the glitzy mall ones, or the pavement stalls – stock and brace up for the mad rush that soon ensues.
And as any die-hard Kolkatan would vouch for, it is during this time, when we can smell that Pujo is in the air. The smile on our lips as we see pujo posters being put up, the blue sky with its wispy whites, the tailors refusing to take extra orders, extra traffic police near markets and the mad rush at the shopping hotspots like New Market and Gariahat – all spell one thing – MA ashchen …
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( Devpurna, to quote her own words, is a ” Lawyer by day, the quintessential bengali dreamer by night, a
foodie since toddler days and oh, an up-cycler on weekends too!
For her other stories on Blong…Shong, Click Here )