By Sampa Paul
In Kolkata the traces of the last rains have disappeared and the wide blue sky starts beaconing the drifting patches of fleecy white clouds with the festive feel. The mild fragrance of “shiuli” makes you enchanted, a glimpse of swaying “Kaash” in the fields feels you happy, and the chanting of Shakti mantras fill up your heart and mind. All it means that Durga puja is round the corner. A feeling of euphoria sets in the hearts of the Bengalis during the four-day festival of Durga puja. Infact for Bengalis, Durga puja is all about coming back home, nostalgia, non-stop adda and falling in love once again. The positive energy in people shoots up during these four days. People forget age old jealousy, rivalry and join hands to welcome the Godess of Happiness-Ma Durga!
The emotions, madness, happiness, love and excitement associated with this festival is simply unbelievable. During Durga puja Kolkata transforms into a fairy land of light and music. During the Durga puja the pulses of Bengalis are high with thoughts of homecoming, happy reunions with the dearest and nearest one, the beat of drums thud across the twilit skyline releasing a fresh boost of life. Everywhere there is a sense of positivity filling the atmosphere. The beating of dhak and kansar and the dhunuchi dances, with a spirit of joy and boundless fun are an inevitable part of Durga puja celebrations. And why not??? Ma has come after one year, so it is the time to dance and sing because Ma will take care of all those worries, pains and aches of life.
On Bijoya Dashami people arrange a grand send-off to Ma Durga. "Sindur Khela" is a major event of Dashami. Married women apply vermilion to each other and greet each other with sweets. It is in the evening when Goddess Durga is immersed into water. It is then in the wake of departed Goddess, that the most beautiful aspect of Bijoya Dashami comes, discarding all ill-feelings of hostility, anger and enimity. These are moments which make Bengalis more positive and optimistic about life.
Besides being a Durga Puja enthusiast, Sampa Paul works as Project Officer with Sightsavers – Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind in North East India Area Office, Kolkata. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org