Celebrations are boundary less.
It is not restricted to age, class, gender, religion, income group, location or for that matter, anything at all. When it comes to Durga Puja, it’s a carnival. While the fulcrum remains the worship of mother goddess, the celebrations around it are huge. It’s a slow build up for 2 – 3 months, with countless hours of effort, a huge budget, large manpower planning; finally culminating into puja and the celebration it follows during these 4 days justify the effort behind it.
What does celebration mean to you? Let this question be asked in a different way – what does celebration mean to you during Durga Puja? Is it the new clothes? Is it the 4 days of leave from office (although there are some who sacrifice this leave so that essential services keep running)? Is it spending some quality time with the near and dear ones? Is it night long pandal hopping to see as many idols as possible with a constant update on Social Media? Is it night long parties? Is it queuing up outside the restaurants to have a share of good food? As you think and try to figure out which suits your personality profile … lets pause.
The Bengalis forget all their sorrows for these 4 days. It’s as if someone hits the pause button on the movie of life at a happy moment and wants to live in that moment forever. Even the poorest of the poor celebrate. They cannot afford new clothes or can never even dare to go near a restaurant but they can certainly visit the pandals which would not involve any cost. They can also see and enjoy the web of bright lights which adorn the city for these 4 days when the city doesn’t go to sleep. The poor kid can be lucky enough to get one balloon from his father and guard it as the most precious possession of his life. He can get the chance to go out with his parents once and a packet of bhelpuri can be the most extravagant dish that he will have for the entire year. Yes, celebration has no boundaries. When the bubble maker floats the bubbles, it’s almost like dreams floating around.
Celebration is also buying a saree for your mom for the first time with your salary during the Pujas. Celebration is also travelling whole night while standing on a home bound train, so as to not miss the dhunuchi naach on Ashtami. Celebration is also the first toy pistol (these days unfortunately one doesn’t see that many) which comes with its share of momentary thrill of sound and puff of smoke. Celebration is also meeting the ailing grandparent during Durga Puja and holding her hand, perhaps for the last time, it is also eating at the community hall with your neighbors with whom you have barely interacted rest of the year. Celebration is magnitude less. The smallest of the memories created in these always happy moments, remain as the biggest celebration memories for the days to come. I remember the thrill of playing the dhaak for the first time and when it was my son’s turn, it was nothing short of soul stirring. How can one forget the excitement of accompanying the elders of the community for the visarjan (the ceremony of the immersion of Maa Durga) or the dance on the streets with the dhaki for the procession?
Durga Puja is a Hindu festival but perhaps in Kolkata, it is beyond all caste, creed and religion. Kolkata doesn’t allow one to be not secular during these 4 days and everyone gets soaked in celebrations. How I wish that this paused moment in the film called life, was the entire life without any flash back or future travel. But then in such a case, life wouldn’t be a celebration. So let’s embrace these moments which ultimately makes life a celebration.
This post is in association with Kurlon who has introduced some attractive offers this festive season where one can avail the offer by clicking here. The TVC which was created for this displayed true celebrations and the contest Kurlotsav Kaptures has been successful in capturing the essence of true celebrations.