মা আসছেন

The reverence of goddess is almost iconic and monopolistic in the culture of Calcutta. This for me, is both quintessential and maverick at the same time.

In a man’s world and a country where Gods are God, Calcutta is unscrupulously devout of its goddesses. 

The Woman, The Mother, The Lady. Calcutta is the womb of the holy mother.

It’s Pujo, and I am closest to you when Maa is home.

Calcutta Stories, a tale of life and jubilation.

Season of Goddess

Inseparable love, indomitable pose, blessing in abundance, the queen of all triumphs.

Year on year, she is the sanity check of our lives, and the hope that evil will die, sometime, someday. Perhaps, forever.

The epitome of goodness, she is a sign of redemption for the self destructive urban bane.

She came, she conquered, she left with a poise and promise. We are left behind, with an equally daunting promise to deliver and keep the fervor alive.

Calcutta:Pujo:Dhak:Mishti:Happiness

Calcutta (sorry but I prefer Calcutta..always!) and Pujo (the bengali way) are inseparable and contagious. This is that part of the year when India as a nation is immersed in festivities – names are different, customs are differentiated but commonalities are plenty – sweets, families, people, gatherings, crowded streets, traffic (its human traffic that supersedes the former), time of discounts and plenty of shopping. This is the time of the year when gods, goddesses and people are celebrated, with pomp and glory. For me, Calcutta’s flavour remains a stand out.

Let me be very blatant and poignant here. Calcutta’s Pujo aura is seldom understood unless you belong to the city of joy. For locals, its a celebration of life. From an outsider’s angle, its a gorgeous mess. Well, let me tell you why, sighs!.

Curatively, Calcutta is a featherbed for worshipping ladies (pun intended as the scenario today is quite frivolous) and ‘Maa’ is a given honorific for the elite and alas in what is synonymously known as the cultural capital of India. It does have dimensions but in the context of Durga Pujo, the statement holds large, and with oodles of glory.

The devout begins with Sashti, Sapthami gets you roaring, the madness reaches its zenith on Ashtami and Nabami, and Calcutta waits for yet another year as we bid the goddess a tearful adieu on Dashami. Like life, Calcutta doesn’t believe in goodbyes and the next Pujo is just around the corner.

For me, it’s a unique gulp from the normal Dusshera festival that engulfs rest of India. Honestly, I don’t expect mortals to understand the fervor of Calcutta Pujo. Yes, you need to be a Bangali (yes, it’s not Bengali) and a staunch Calcuttan to digest this crazy euphoria. And remember, this is the time of the year when Calcutta is a chaos of blessing.

 
One of these insane years, I urge you to plan and be in Calcutta during the festive season. Be it Mumbai’s Ganpati or Tirupati’s Perumal, Calcutta’s Durga Pujo remains India’s most adoring extravaganza.