We often plan our leaves or holidays per season and one thing comes up in the minds of people from eastern part of our country is predominantly Durga Puja: a 5 day event, the largest Hindu festival of Bengal. It’s a festival of seeking blessings of Maa Durga, uniting with friends living in different parts of the world, adda with them, Bengali food fiesta, back to our natives with our parents, revisiting childhood memories.

It also commemorates the paarai paarai Pujo or community puja, hopping onto pandals and looking at the mesmerizing Durga Maa idols, glistening bright with colors, ornaments decked up and decorated beautiful lights and not the least – the Durga Pujo mantra chanting with rhythmic beatings of dhak and smell of incense sticks and then, the dhunuchi dance; immersing people in Maa’s supreme power and devotion. The cultural programmes like Robindro sangeet, dance, songs, recitation by kids, etc., organized by associations encouraging talents of people irrespective of age, caste and creed; restoring and celebrating traditional culture and heritage.

The festival also entails mega family shopping of clothes, gifts, accessories and meeting old friends from school, tuitions and neighborhood and beloved elders – maa, baba, pishi, maashi, kaki maa, kaku, dada, boudiand alike. Durga Pujo feast starts with Bhog of khichudi, laabada, chutney and mishti. The galore is not fulfilled until we dig onto our very own famous Bengali mishti, mughlai biriyani, luchi-alur dom, rolls, tele bhaja-chops and what not 🙂

Puja concludes with sindoor-khela, most awaited by married women, as they smear each other with vermilion powder and exchange Bijoya greetings and finally, the ceremony is symbolized by immersion of sculptures, also called Vijayadashami.

Now, being part of Durga Puja association, I feel blessed and amazed with meeting people completely unknown since 1.5 months, coming together with the sole purpose of organizing our Durga Puja for first time in Varthur and reliving our festival here in Bangalore, all with blessings of Durga Maa.

Joi Durga Maa…

Thanks & Regards,
Mrs. Manpreet Chatterjee

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