How many days are left for Pujo? Has the countdown begun?

This is one of ‘the festivals’ that is the most awaited one in Kolkata and amongst Bengalis worldwide. There is this blurred twilight, when all of a sudden the countdown starts. It is so deeply ingrained in our system, that as a second nature, we look forward to those 4 days right from the time we receive a new Bengali calendar. It does not matter whether one is in Kolkata or outside of Kolkata. Once the dates are assimilated the reactions start – ‘Oh no, we lose out on one holiday as Saptami is on Sunday; when is Bijoya – oh! its on Friday – great I will apply for a leave on Saturday and Sunday and its going to be a long holiday.

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The para or the neigbourhood starts getting a different look

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All of a sudden the clear sky above my head looks like an internet

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The round the clock relentless effort by the artisans who remain behind the arch light makes it possible

The hoarding war in Kolkata for Durga Puja starts much earlier – Read the story here 

The days are marked but the passionate loud bengalis need to have a huge build up to the Puja. My brain processed the first signals of Pujo as a little brighter sky and a happy good feeling all around. Well, one might say that this is little intangible. Agreed, the first was the Sunday bengali newspaper having the advertorial/centre spread / last page ( evolutionary stages from 80s till 2000 ) advertisement of shoes. It was Bata initially and then all of a sudden Bata had a competitor in SreeLeathers. For every kids shoe bought in Bata during that time, they used give colourful balloons.

Advertisements of special Puja editions of Bengali magazines where all the top notch authors would write, special music releases by music companies  ( in last 10 years this is one thing which I miss the most – no Puja releases, I am that generation which saw the likes of a Indranil Sen and Sreekanto Acharya emerge from their Durga Puja releases), a general increase in activities all across the cities, the first cleaning of the puja pandal space, dumping of decorative items, young and old running around from door to door to collect subscription, all were signals. Ma’s shopping list used to be ready almost 2 months prior to Puja. She had this strange habit ( I used to find it strange but no longer after I am married)  of going through her prized possessions and in solitary, always the day after the shopping. She always had the dilemma of not having picked the right colour.

After I picked up the camera, I realised that going to Kumortuli is also a countdown to Pujo. I started my photography in Pune, so never ever got a chance to go to Kumortuli until the last couple of years. The tension was building up since last 3 years where the numbers of photographers were outnumbering the artisans. Numerous cameras, different lenses, obtuse angles and more importantly the competition of quickly uploading them on Social Media channels. I didn’t go this year. Took the decision a couple of months back – about the time when it was about to get declared that going to Kumartuli is a fad. Do I consider this as a fad? I don’t . But overcrowding and interfering the work of the artisans is definitely unacceptable. I remembered some old pics which I had clicked in 2012 – found worth sharing –

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The city is gearing up for the Mega event of the year . The advertisements are almost covering up the faces . Have you seen all of them ? Read here 

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One of those advertisements which started the slugfest this year

If there is anywhere life happening, it is here. So come and join the celebrations.

In case you have not ordered the Kolkata sweets yet – then order at sweethandi . How else to celebrate the Puja better than digging into Kolkata sweets and getting the same nostalgic feeling sitting outside Kolkata.

A very exciting time is ahead for pikturenama as it has got two extremely talented blogger and vlogger as partners of crime for celebration of DurgaPuja . Welcome on board Shyamali Sinha ( the face and one of the sweetest person around) and Biswajit Sinha ( the heart and brain and a Ghoti ) of FOODIESHUT  and Antara Ray ( The fiery nosy bangal cook who is a dessert queen and we have a personal hate and love relationship) of ZOUQH   

 Between us across 3 cities and 2 countries ( Shyamali and Biswajit is currently in Melbourne and Antara stays in Gurgaon) we plan to celebrate DurgaPuja . Watch out this space for more and do search Social media for #DurgaPuja2015 .