It’s Panchami and I am fretting around trying to figure out how to fit in those extra plans into my already packed schedule. Yes, it’s the Pujas in Kolkata and the next few days are going to be a hurricane. Three night outs, four day trips, two evening Addas, the Ashtami Anjali and Bhog– I am pressed for time.
“Brace yourself,” I tell my body. “Rough times ahead.”
“Yeah, I kind of expected that”, it replies back. After all it’s the same grind every year. As soon as the sun starts bursting through the autumn clouds- it knows it’s time for some abnormal activity all around.
The city’s in utter chaos too- if you call it that. I prefer calling it an organized mess. The inhuman traffic snarls, hot humid days, waiting hours for a seat at the restaurant, walking in sweaty clothes all through the night- at any other time of the year I would have protested in my loudest voice possible. But everything is fair during the pujas.
Ma Durga blesses us with that kind of vigour. We can rough it out 48 hours without sleep, may be even more. Sleeping at this time is an utter waste of time. As is staying indoors. You need to be in that mess to soak and indulge in the festive spirit- that we bongs wait all through the year for. It’s not a surprise then that the trains are full, the flights overbooked- everyone’s coming home. Be it for a day or two- we just cannot thrive without indulging ourselves in some pandal hopping, the customary para Addas, the morning Anjali, a visit to Maddox and a late dinner at Park Street.
Somebody once asked me what is it that makes the Pujas so special for us?
I give the chap a scandalous look. It’s even a crime to ask that question.
“Dude, come to Kolkata and then you will know what it’s all about. Come here once, and you will every year. Year after year.”
May be it’s what makes us what we are. It’s innate in our souls- a bong isn’t a bong without the pujo madness.
No wonder, a movie shot in the city isn’t complete without the Dhunuchi Nach or the Sindur Khela. It’s the one instance I love the utter chaos in the city. not only I love it, I want to dive into it and get shredded for the next four days. And then pick up the pieces and articulate them together to give me the vigour to last another long, long wait!
Archya, in his own words, is the trying-to-be-global bangali babu, who is attempting to carve out a niche for himself in blogosphere, having had mixed results in Medicine Practice. In short, a struggling artist.
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