Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bijoya Greetings

At last the Pujo days are over. Once again Mother Durga along with her children, has completed her visit. The idols have been immersed in the river waters. Now it is time for the Bengalis to greet one another with the words “Subho Bijoya”. When young ones meet elders they touch their feet and the elders give their blessings.

This is the time to eat sweets in plenty, eat and feed, that’s the thought. This will continue till the Kali Pujo and then everything will dampen.

Happy Bijoya.
Be happy and cheerful.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Durga Puja - Maha Navami

Durga Puja - Maha Navami Puja in one of the puja pandals in New Delhi.

Maha Ashtami

Durga Puja - Maha Ashtami Puja in one of the puja pandals in New Delhi.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Durga Puja – Maha Saptami

Today is Maha Saptami. Puja rituals have started. A day full of activity. People are visiting the pandals. Celebration is more about Gatherings, Adda, Food, Anjali, Dhunochi Dance and Bhog. And the evening entertainment programme cannot be forgotten.

There is still more Puja buzz in the coming days. At least these few days will ease life to some extent.

Tomorrow has more in store.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Durga Sasthi

Today is Sasthi, the first day of the Pujas. This is the welcome day for Ma Durga to the pandals and households. This day is special because of the rituals to be followed; unveiling of the face of Ma Durga along with Kalparambho. Some of the other main rituals of the day are Bodhan, Amontron and Adhibas.

Kalparambho, the beginning of the Pujas.

Bodhan, the consecration of Ma Durga’s idol.

Amontron, inviting the Goddess.

Adhibas, sanctifying the stay of the Goddess in the puja area of the pandals.

All the excitement and festive fervour will start from tomorrow which no doubt has something so magical about it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Celebration Time

At last the waiting is going to be over. The Pujas have come and Ma Durga will be among us within a short time. The pandals are being given the final touches to get the best look along with Ma Durga and her children – daughters Laxmi and Saraswati and sons Kartik and Ganesh. The Lion she rides cannot be forgotten nor the Mahisashur (the Demon) who is defeated at her feet with the help of her Trident.

The year 2009 Durga Puja rituals and celebrations begin on September 24.

A glimpse at the dates of the 5 Puja days:

Sashti – September 24
Maha Saptami – September 25
Durga Astame or Maha astami – September 26
Maha Nabami – September 27
Dashami – September 28

Looking forward to the grand PujoDays.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mahalaya and Pujo Days

It is this time of the year when every Bengali waits for the Durga Pujo to come. This is an annual waiting but enthusiasm is never lost. The actual spirit of the Pujo starts on the day of the Mahalaya.

With Mahalaya the distant dream of the Pujo days are over and it is only seven days waiting for Mother Goddess to sit in the pandals with all her grandeur inviting flocks of human soul to come close to her with Bhakti and Devotion.

Even today Birendra Kishna Bhadra is remembered on Mahalaya day. I still remember as a child the early morning hours of the Mahalaya day used to be so very special. Everyone in the house woke up at 4a.m., the radio was tuned in and the voice of this legendary narrator was heard reciting holy verses which told the story of the decent of Ma Durga to earth. His inimitable style and voice can still be heard in the recorded version, the mesmerizing effect on all those who spend the early morning hours listening to the radio and the story of Mahisasur- Mardini.

On this special Mahalaya day many people take a holy dip in the Ganges and offer Tarpan, a way of remembering the forefathers who have left for their heavenly abode. People fast and offer food, water, sweets, clothes which is a ritual of Tarpan. This day can also be symbolized as the Remembrance Day (remembering ancestors).

It is believed that on Mahalaya day Goddess Durga along with her four children begins her journey from Mount Kailash in the Himalayas to her parental home.

And so begins the joy of the long awaited Pujo days.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Durga Puja

Festive time has crept in and it is very much noticeable from the sudden change in weather. Days and nights are no longer hot and sweaty; instead the early morning hours have a touch of the chill. This clearly states that the major festivals of our country are knocking at the door.

Durga Puja is one of the major festivals celebrated throughout India and the main festival of the Bengalis. Goddess Durga symbolises power and triumph of good over evil. The Puja ambience has set in with people making preparations for the celebration. Puja Pandals are being set up and decorations are on to make each and every pandal get the best look. On the other hand the artists are busy shaping up the idols and giving the finishing touch.

The festivity time can be read in the market place for this time is more like an annual buying spree. Markets also depend on their maximum sale during these times.

As the five days of the Pujas come to an end, the idols, made of clay will be immersed in the waters of the rivers. Again Ma Durga will make her appearance next year when the Puja time comes.