The Preparation for Durga Pujo – #bloggersdurgapujo

The vibe of Durga Pujo is already highly electrifying in the City of Joy, Kolkata. Being a Bengali residing outside Kolkata during Pujo is highly hurting. And am sure if you are also sailing in the same boat like me would resonate to what I just mentioned. Nevertheless, #bloggersdurgapujo is where I and few of my blogger friends are celebrating the vibe of the biggest festival of the year through some great posts on our blogs – to celebrate Durga Pujo in a different way.

During Durga Pujo, I walk down the memory lane remembering my earlier days during Pujo when I was in Kolkata and used to celebrate Pujo in the quarters campus. My father was in government service and we used to stay in a quarter campus, which was like a family for us.

Pandal Preparation

Kash phool (Saccharum spontaneum) growing every places this time is the sign of the start of the season of Sarat Kal and the festival season. Durga Pujo means fun, food, lights everywhere in the city and for I and my friends in the quarter campus it was the most fun time. The entire city of Kolkata looks like a newly wedded bride in her full getup during her wedding night. In our quarter campus, when we were kids, I still remember the dry bamboo sticks, wooden planks etc. used to arrive sequentially for the making of the pandal. From that day itself, Durga Pujo started for us. The artisans used to come every day in the morning to set up the pandal and they used to work until the dusk. Each passing day as the pandal took its shape it symbolized the onset of the arrival of Maa Durga in our quarter campus. I remember the days in my childhood when my friends and I used to climb and play in the half-done structure of the pandal.

Shiuli phool (Saccharum spontaneum)
Prep for the pandal construction

Shopping

Shopping for Durga Pujo was kind of a project for my siblings and me and still it’s the same I guess for many. What to wear on what day of the Pujo? When to wear – whether it is a morning or eveningwear? Keeping that in mind I and my siblings used to plan what to buy, where to go for shopping and when to go. While on the shopping spree, we used to visit different shops to choose the best dress or shoes that matches our plan. It was a great fun.

Pandals – decoration and creativity

The final output of more than few months’ of hard work and creativity of the pandal artisans is just astonishing. During Durga Pujo, the entire city comes onto the road – no matter what is the time in the clock. My pandal hopping used to be for at least two days – one day with my friends group and the other day with my family. It used to be the whole night affair and we use to return home only next day morning at 6 AM or so.

Lighting – another creative aspect

Lighting is another intricate part of the entire festival. Pandal hoppers enjoy the lighting as well to the fullest. Every other pandal has different lighting, especially the chandeliers in the pandals. There are so much creativity in this area as well. In some of the pandals in Kolkata like College Square Durga Pujo chandelier is the main attraction for the pandal hoppers.

Idols – Maa Durga

With the decoration, lighting and pandal how could I forget mentioning the huge, fully decorative and creative idols that these pandals house during Pujo. During the time of pandal hopping I used to concentrate on exploring the beautiful and highly creative idols in every pandal. None of the idols matches one another and they are strikingly different from each other. Whether it is Mohammad Ali Park or Mudiali Club or Babubagan Club or Jodhour Park – all the idols are different and gives tough competition to each other. Durga Pujo is like display of creativity in the entire city of Kolkata.

This Durga Pujo I have not had a chance to go to my hometown Kolkata. I will visit some of the Durga Pujo pandals in Bangalore. And also enjoying my stint of Durga Pujo with my fellow blogger friends on #bloggersdurgapujo. I cannot conclude the post without mentioning and crediting my three sisters – Rinka Chatterjee, Poulami Das and Debolina Byabartta. They helped me with the beautiful pictures from Kolkata that has decorated my post and makes it complete.

This post will be incomplete if I do not mention me playing with my friends and the flash fire toy gun, which is the signature aspect of Druga Pujo. When I grew up from that stage, it was more of “adda” with the group until the late night in the pandal in my quarter campus. It used to be talks, singing, fun and much more. That time it was like the clock moves fastest than any other time. How can I forget to mention eating of street food during Pujo, which is like tastiest during Pujo. I still remember I used to tell my mom not to prepare dinner for the 4-5 days as I’ll be eating out. The pushpanjali in Ashtami, wearing Dhuti-Panjabi was a must for that day. Lastly the sad day of “bisorjon” (immersion) in Dasami. It used to be a different mood and environment altogether during the Dasami as Maa is leaving us for a year. We all used to dance to the immersion spot enchanting “asche bochor abar hobe” (it’ll again be done next year). Many other emotions, feelings and nostalgia are running through my mind as I’m writing this post. I’m in loss of words to express them all neither I want to make this post a huge one. I hope I can bestow these feelings and emotions to my next generation and help them live the times of Durga Pujo.

The Excitement of #bloggersdurgapujo Season 2

It was sometime at the beginning of September 2017, I can’t remember the exact date though, I received a message on Twitter from Kuheli sharing her thought of #bloggersdurgapujo and the collaboration. The time we both chatted the name #bloggersdurgapujo was not yet created, it was just a thought without the hashtag. I still remember how excited I was to this thought and glad to be a part of this collaboration. Rahul and Paromita, both from Hyderabad, joined the team. It was just 4 of us. A WhatsApp group was created and we 4 started gathering and planning for the posts, dates, sharing on social media etc. It was fun joining the group and for the first time in my blogging spree, I had been a part of such an exciting collaboration. And when it is about our biggest festival of the year Durga Pujo. The name #bloggersdurgapujo took shape during our WhatsApp brainstorming session. It was great fun for me. Choosing a topic and the day of having the post up on our respective blogs was pretty easy as we were just 4 and we chose 4 days of Durga Pujo when we would post. Rahul also posted a wrap-up post and I covered a few big Pujo in Bangalore and posted a video on my YouTube channel. You can check out the video here. This was the end of the #bloggersdurgapujo collaboration in 2017 but the collaboration among 4 of us continued as we remained in touch in WhatsApp. And that brought us here again together to make #bloggersdurgapujo bigger, brighter and more exciting in 2018 Durga Pujo.

The 2018 #bloggersdurgapujo

The 2018 Durga Pujo is nearing and again it was beginning of September when Rahul, this time, started the conversation for reviving our very own #bloggersdurgapujo. Instantly, the response was yes from all 4 of us, but this time we thought of making it bigger and brighter. The group of participating bloggers for this year’s #bloggersdurgapujo has increased 5 folds with 20 bloggers including myself. This has been incredible experience. This year’s Durga Pujo is going to be different for me and my group of Bengali bloggers from different parts of India where we will capture the essence of Durga Pujo in our own ways. There will be posts on each of our blogs pertaining to varied themes like food, travel, fashion, recipes, pandal hopping, fiction and many more. The #bloggersdurgapujo in this year’s Durga Pujo is the perfect example of “Bigger is better and brighter” and here we come with a bigger and better experience for our readers.

So don’t miss the chance to engage with the hashtag on social media – Twitter, Instagram & Facebook as we all share our experiences. Also, visit the blogs of the participating bloggers to taste the flavors of their recipes to enjoy Durga Pujo 2018.

List of Participating Bloggers

Dr. Amrita Basu (Misra): https://healthwealthbridge.com

Anupriya Gupta: https://hehttp://www.mommytincture.comalthwealthbridge.com

Esha Chakraborty: https://bookhippo.wordpress.com

Indrani Ghose: https://isharethese.com

Kapila Rattan Bhowmik: http://www.everylittlethinghappiness.com

Dr. Kuheli Bhattacharya: http://www.thefoodietrails.com

Moumita Sen: https://www.socialconnoisseursblog.com

Nehal Roy: http://www.easyhomeremedies.co.in

Paromita Biswas: https://goodtimestrails.com

Rahul Basu: https://bongfooodie.com

Sayanti Mahapatra: http://bingeonbasics.com

Shalini Magdel Das: http://lostloveadventure.com/

Shamik Byabartta: http://www.mixedflavorsblog.com

Sharmishtha S Ghosh: https://letstalkjhaalmishti.wordpress.com

Shruti Dugar: http://webofwords.in

Siya Bose: https://bestylechic.wordpress.com

Sonali Chauhan: https://sonalichauhanreviews.wordpress.com

Sonia Chatterjee: https://soniasmusings.com

Soumosri & Utsab Pal (Couple blogger): https://happilyfoodies.wordpress.com/

Vasundhara Sarkar: http://thesassyshimmer.blogspot.com

Durga Puja 2018: A glimpse of this year’s #bloggersdurgapujo

Here I’m starting my Durga Puja 2018 with this year’s #bloggersdurgapujo campaign. This year the start of this much awaited bigger, better and brighter #bloggersdurgapujo will be with a teaser post. Like last year my Durga Puja 2018 will have the essence of #bloggersdurgapujo.

Before I delve more into #bloggersdurgapujo let me talk a bit about my blog.

If you see my blog you can connect why I’ve kept my blog name as The Mixed Flavors. It has posts about everything – cooking, recipes, traveling, reviews, lifestyle and more. There is everything in my blog for every readers and are loved by them all. The newest section on my blog is the Store section, which is my try of recognizing my wife Manasi’s creative side and bring it in front of a larger audience.

Coming back to the super exciting #bloggersdurgapujo campaign, I’m very much excited to be a part of it this year too. It all started last year with just 4 blogger friends – Kuheli, Paromita, Rahul and myself from different cities of India. This year it is coming with larger participants – a bigger and brighter campaign. That means the essence of the festival will be more intense this year.

The aim of this campaign is to share the essence of Durga Pujo, the biggest festival of the Bengali community, with the larger audience. The essence of Durga Puja will be captured by bloggers from different parts of the country and shared in the form of blog posts or vlogs. The Durga Puja 2018 is going to be bit different for me with this campaign.

I hope you all will enjoy and love this campaign like last year. I urge all my readers to follow the #bloggersdurgapujo on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to visit the blogs of the participating bloggers and enjoy the essence of Durga Puja in a unique way this time.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter #MyFriendAlexa

Foodie Treat for Durga Puja

Suvo Sharadiya

Today is Maha Saptami of Durga Puja and the 7th day of Navaratri. You already had different essences or aroma of Durga Puja in last three posts from my fellow blogger friends Kuheli, Paromita and Rahul as a part of the #bloggersdurgapujo campaign of Durga Puja 2017.

Durga Puja is the most awaited festival of the Bengalis all over the world. The first thing any Bengali in any part of the world would see the Durga Puja dates when they get the New Year calendar in hand every year. I know you all can relate to this. The few things that ring in the minds of all Bengalis from Panchami to Nabami are – pandal hopping, spending full-on fun time with family and friends, new clothes, no studies for the students, break from work for the corporate people and yes, of course, the lip-smacking varieties of food available. Most of us like to eat out during this time but mostly during the daytime, it’s home cook food we serve at home.

Especially, on Maha Sashti and Maha Ashtami, it’s always Luchi (Puri), Cholar Dal (Chana Dal) or Aaloor Dom (Dum Aaloo) with some sweet dish is what we serve. Here, in my post, I would share a recipe of Dum Aaloo that is a completely vegetarian – without even onion and garlic. The specialty of this recipe is the spice mix or the curry paste that I’ll mention in this recipe is an invention of mine, which I tried just as an experiment. I thought #bloggersdurgapujo would be a great platform to share the recipe with you all. Without taking much of time let’s start.

Serving: 2

Ingredients

  • Boiled & Peeled Potato – 10 pieces small (cut into two pieces form middle)
  • Curry Paste – made of 2 tomatoes, 2-inch ginger, a bunch of fresh coriander leaves, 7-8 clove pods and 2 green chilies
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin (jeera) powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander (dhania) powder – 1 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi – 2 tsp (crushed)
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Oil – 3 tbsp

Method

  • Cut, boil and peel the potatoes
  • Put 3 tbsp of oil in a deep fry pan
  • Once the oil is heated fry the potatoes till it becomes light yellow
  • Add the curry paste and mix it thoroughly
  • After mixing the paste and cooking for about 2 mins add all the powdered spices (turmeric, red chili, cumin, and coriander)
  • Mix all the spices thoroughly and cook it for 5 mins
  • Add 2 cups of water mix well and cover the lid to cook it till it comes to boil
  • Sprinkle the crushed Kasuri Methi and mix it well
  • You can add some freshly chopped coriander leaves and keep it covered

The Aaloor Dom would be the perfect combination of hot Luchi in Maha Sashti morning or just after you come home after your Pushpanjali on Maha Ashtami. You can check out the video recipe on my YouTube Channel.

Dum Aaloo

Durga Pujo is celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm by Bengalis all over the world. Join Four bloggers from four different parts of the country as they bring to you a kaleidoscope of festive fervour in the form of blog posts and videos for an entire week. We hope to entertain, inform and enthrall you in a quest to involve everyone in our moment of joy. I am happy to be one of the co-creators for this creative team called #bloggersdurgapujo

Participating bloggers

#bloggersdurgapujo

Head over to Kuheli’s blog on Thursday, 28th September (www.thefoodietrails.com), then to Paromita’s blog on Friday, 29th September (www.goodtimestrails.wordpress.com) and then to Rahul’s blog on Saturday, 30th September (www.bongfooodie.com)

A week of Pujo related blogs on our #bloggersdurgapujo

I’m linking this post to the #MyFriendAlexa campaign by Blogchatter to take my blog to the next level.