“I never know how to explain them that to a Bengali, religion consists of much more than shouting Jai Shri Ram or pulling down somebody’s mosque. It has little to do with meaningless ritual or sinister political activity. The essence of Puja is that all the passions of Bengal converge: emotion, culture, the love of life, the warmth of being together, the joy of celebration, the pride in artistic expression and yes, the cult of the Goddess..
. .To understand Puja, you must understand Calcutta. And to understand Calcutta, you must understand the Bengali. It’s not easy. Certainly, you can’t do it till you come and live here, till you let Calcutta suffuse your being, invade your bloodstream and steal your soul. But once you have, you’ll love Calcutta forever. Wherever you go, a bit of Calcutta will go with you. I know, because it’s happened to me. And every Puja, I am overcome by the magic of Bengal. It’s a feeling that’ll never go away.”
~ Vir Sanghvi.
One doesn’t need to say any more than that to explain exactly what the Durga Puja means to a Bangali hailing from Calcutta, like me. Let me take you through the journey of the great Durgotshob across the streets, lanes, by-lanes, nooks and corners of my city, the city of joy, the city with a heart.
The creator and the creations.
Paint me with the colors of power, and love.
As her children carry her home.
And worship the mightiest of the mighty.
“Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you.”
The protector, the creator, the warrior, the savior.
And it’s time to bid adieu for another year, with tears, laughter, sweets and a rush of vermillion stained smiles.
Contributed By: Arshia Dhar