I’m back to tell you about how I had celebrated my Kojagori Lakshmi Puja. Five days after Durga puja, its time for Kojagori Lakshmi puja. Lakshmi is the daughter of Goddess Durga and every one likes her for she is the goddess of wealth.
In Bengali homes Lakshmi is worshipped on this Kojagori Purnima day and there is activity in the house till the puja is over. After an early bath I cleaned the puja area, not only the puja space but the whole house. Lighted the lamp and some incense sticks whose aroma filled the room. When I lighted my five tier electric lamp, the sparkles of the artificial light were like twinkling stars not in the sky but within the four walls of the room. Whenever I switch on this electric lamp my mind recalls the nursery rhyme “Twinkle twinkle little star…like a diamond in the sky”. The sparkles from the little bulbs are indeed like sparkling diamonds. Everyone say ladies love diamonds. And I am an odd lady out as I have not fallen in love with diamonds yet. Never mind I’m happy with my gold.
The next work was indeed worth the time spent on it. Made the paste of the rice I had soaked in water early in the day. This is the base for the Alpona that is spread with much care on the floor of the house. Alpona is the drawing created with the help of the fingers dipped in the thin liquid of the rice that had been made into a fine paste. For laying the alpona, first have to take a small piece of cloth that can be held between the fingers. Dip the cloth piece in the liquid between the five fingers, slowly take it out, gently press the liquid from the cloth that has been soaked with the thumb against the fingers and let the tip of the middle finger make the drawings on the floor. The puja place has a big circular drawing. The main design laid on the floor running from room to room is that of the feet of Lakshmi. This symbolises that the goddess has walked all round the house. This is an art going down from generation to generation.
The Lokhi Panchali was read in the evening and the bhog nothing special but fruits and sweets. There was luchi and tarkai. On this special day the food cooked for the puja has a special taste…maybe psychological or devotion attached to it.
Like the Durga puja, Kojagori Lakshmi puja will be celebrated again next year after the Pujas.
Waiting for Diwali…till then…