India is a land of festivals. Being a secular nation, there may be no such thing as a dearth of issues to maintain a great time in this land of wonders. From Christmas to Eid ul Zoha, Independence Day to the Cricket World Cup, there may be now now not steadily anything that Indians manufacture now now not take care of celebrating. Merely level us against an occasion and we are eager with it. But hidden amongst this prolonged checklist of celebrations is a gem within the procure of Durga Puja, something notorious in its burly glory within the Bengali neighborhood.
So, what precisely IS the Durga Puja?
Properly, for the sake of clarity, Puja refers to a non secular festival. Nonetheless, for us Bengalis, Durga Puja is less of a 'Puja' and more of the embodiment of the spirit of festiveness. What precisely does that imply? Properly, let us slump reduction a pair of millenniums to answer that put a query to.
The custom of invoking the goddess Durga (or the mum, recognized as 'Ma') is first regarded as to were performed by Lord Ram earlier than he went forth to fight Ravana, as documented within the epic Ramayana. Nonetheless, the custom lay dormant till regarding the behind 1500s, when the landlords in Bengal took it up. It turn out to be within the raze given its remaining procure within the 18th century as Baroyaari (or 12 chums') puja, a duration of time which within the raze got right here to consult with neighborhood sponsored Durga Pujas held in Kolkata.
Basically, all parts of India celebrates this period, but within the procure of Navratri. It constitutes of 9 days' charge of fasting, which ends with Dussehra, a day where an effigy of Ravana is burned as a skill to speak that evils are consistently championed by correct as Lord Ram had championed above Ravana.
In Bengal, alternatively, the which implies of these 10 days are slightly varied.
My earliest recollections of Durga Puja are that of waking up within the center of the night to listen to to Mahalaya on the radio. It’s a program that has been airing on the first day of the Bengali month Ashwin for more than 7 decades and 4 generations of Bengalis, forcing them to wake up at 4 am, something I quiet manufacture religiously yearly on that individual day. Despite the indisputable truth that the magic of the scent, the half of awoken self and radiant Ma is coming has slightly of diminished with the years, the premise of something so collectively unheard of that it makes a complete neighborhood verify forward to it quiet holds a sizable deal of charm alternatively.
We treat Ma Durga as something more than acceptable the goddess. Whereas it’s far correct that she embodies the uncooked energy (or Shakti) that overcame irascible by slaying the irascible demon Mahisasur (hence the duration of time Mahisasur-mardini), she is unheard of MUCH more than acceptable that. The ten days that commence with Mahalaya signify her annual consult with to her paternal dwelling in Bengal with 4 of her youth. As such Ma is, at the same time, a mother, a wife, a goddess, and most importantly, a member of our family. We pamper her, we respect her, we take care of her and we take care of her. She is more than acceptable a divinity.
To us Bengalis, she embodies our truest nature. No topic where a Bengali also can impartial be, come Durga Puja, he / she feels a connection to his / her family.
THIS is what it skill to maintain a great time Pujo (a colloquial duration of time for Durga Puja).
Frankly, it may possibly’t be when put next to the relaxation on this planet. But, undergo in mind the togetherness one gets when visiting the family, or the warmth within the route of Christmas, or the feeling you procure within the event you seek advice out of your family after a 365 days away? That is what Pujo skill to a Bengali. It’s more than celebrating a non secular festival. The speculation of Pujo is bringing everybody together. And what better skill can there be than a mother facilitating all that? We eat, we shout, we allege, luxuriate in and maintain a great time something that’s practically unprecedented anyplace else on this planet. It does now now not topic what you religion is. Whether or now now not a Muslim, a Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Jain or anything in between (including atheists), within the event you are a Bengali at coronary heart, Durga Puja is for you. From visiting the tens of hundreds of makeshift podiums (or pandals) for hoisting Ma Durga to having a cup of tea within the center of the night (below a tree within the native shop because it appears to be like to inevitably rain within the route of Puja nights at the second, especially within the event you are out at 2 am) to dancing within the route of the idol immersion ceremony (known as Bhashan), Durga Puja is something that you have gotten to abilities at the least as soon as in your life.
Oh, and did I mention scrumptious luchi and khichudi as lunch within the route of Ashtami and the gleaming females who grace the pandals? Pujo is charge it … deem you me.
And It all Ends
And as soon as Pujo is performed, whereas we are all unhappy, we pray for Ma to come reduction safely to her high-quality abode atop the Himalayas. Thus begins the now not sleep for the following Puja. But another 365 days to utilize earlier than our dear mother comes reduction. On epic of Pujo on no epic ends, it simply gets shifted by one more 365 days. Despite all the pieces, Ma is take care of the mum who wants you to luxuriate in even when she is long past.
Come, be an ingredient of this high-quality festival of togetherness.