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.