This is how we do it

The countdown begins way ahead of the actual event. Buying new cloths, new shoes, comparing the number of new dresses, etc. The Pandals start getting built at least a month ago; in some cases, more. Then the actual Puja days come. Millions of people, dressed in their new dress, will come out and see the Pujas. They will walk from one Pandal to another, watch the idol, say their quick prayers, appreciate the decoration, and walk to the next Pandal. In between there will be a few food and drinks break. The Pandals are so crowded that there are mile long queues to enter! It is impossible to get a table at any half decent restaurant without waiting As the night progresses, there will be a sizeable number of people limping because of blisters from new shoes. Its impossible to cover the whole city in one day, so people plan their circuits: yesterday, if it was South Kolkata, today it will be North Kolkata. Even at midnight, there will be hundreds of thousands of people on the streets.

I was one of them. I used to do circuits of Pandals with friends. I never used to eat food at home during Pujas. I used to come back home at five a.m. Then I was away from Kolkata for the last eight years, and avoided coming to Kolkata during the Pujas. A vacation during Puja would leave me more tired after the vacation than before. This time, I am in Kolkata. It’s time for me to celebrate Durga Puja, the good old style.

Slight problem though: most of the friends are not in Kolkata, I can’t eat so much anymore, and I can’t stand the crowd. But as the saying goes, “If there is will, there is a way”. So I went out with a close friend and his wife, avoided the busiest Pujas, never went inside any Pandal, and ate in 3500 calorie moderation. We also saw a Bangalore based band – Aurko, perform live. Met a few friends and acquaintances.

One thing which is common to every acquaintance I meet is the conversation pattern. After the usual “Hi, hello” and “How are you? It’s been a long time!” comes, “Have you tied the knot?”, “Why don’t you get married?”, with plenty of advice to follow. A friend of mine even asked for my photograph! Sometimes I wish I could just lie and say that I am married with a kid or two, and my wife couldn’t come with me because she is expecting another child soon. I think that would make people happy.

Anyway, let people be happy in whatever makes them happy. This is no time to complain about things - It’s happy time! Come to think of it, this is no time to write blog posts - got to get ready - my Mamaji will be here any moment now and we will all go out Pandal hopping. Happy Durga Puja everyone.

11 comments:

~ | | OM | | ~ said...

bahut badiya....

i took a while to realise it was my friend subbu with a different name on the blog ...

i went pandal hopping too yesterday in CR park :) it was fun... would have been better if you or soumya or sudip or aro were around... par never mind...

i plan to capture the visarjan tmrw at Kalindi Kunj... lets see...

happy durga Pujo my friend :)

~ Deeps ~ said...

happy durga pujo :)
have a gala time out there..... :)

Anuradha said...

Hey enjoy and have loads of food :).How I miss it here!!

I went to a puja after 3years today and even was in time for Anjali :)

Cheers!
Anu

Aarbee said...

This is good stuff. Happy Durga Puja to you too!!!

Lots of kids will definitely make a lot of people happy. :P

Rohit Talwar said...

Yes du, why don't you get married?
Seriously. Ha.

Butterfly said...

I don't like to stay at Kolkata during the Durga Puja. I just don't seem to find any interest in pandal hopping. That is not at all like a Bengali, but I always go out of Kolkata with my parents during the Puja. This time, it was not possible because my mother was not allowed to leave the station(she is in charge now).So, we decided to enjoy here only. It was not that bad. :-)
But, I went to 2 pandals only. FD Block in Salt Lake(because of the Hogwarts pandal) and Madox Square.
Btw, SHUBHO BIJOYA.:-)

B. O'Hemian said...

@Om
:-)

@Deeps
Thanks... you enjoy too!

@Anu
:-) I am sure you are enjoying in Bangalore too.

@RB
I am sure... but, no thanks.

@RT
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

@Butterfly
I didn't check the FD block Puja, but heard about it. I was in Maddox Square all the time. It's right next to my place :-)
Subho Bijaya.

Reeta Skeeter said...

Interesting! We go to the one at tagore park in dilli... but this time could not make it...But I did get lucky wen I saw 3 durga idols just before their immersion :)

Rohit Talwar said...

Uh huh. Now is this how you reply to all those curious people? HUH?
Just because it's me, you'll punch anything! And, think about it, why don't you? (Ha.) Ab to muchchi bhi nahi hai dadu! Bus ab to ho jaye...


PS: Don't forget I am still only your brother.

B. O'Hemian said...

@Reeta
You should check out C. R. Park / Mayur Vihar during Durga Puja to get a feel of the real deal.

@RT
:-P

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