This event has its roots in traditional Durga Puja celebrations. If you have celebrated Durga Puja and have been part of Sharadiya Durgotsab, then participate and share your experience here.
Nostalgia, memories, food and Durga Puja festivities are inseparable. Did you know that the the first grand worship of Goddess Durga is said to have been celebrated in the late 1500s. Some other records say that the zamindars of Dinajpur and Malda initiated the first Durga Puja in Bengal. According to another source, Raja Kangshanarayan of Taherpur or Bhabananda Mazumdar of Nadiya organized the first Sharadiya or Autumn Durga Puja in Bengal in 1606.
But in this day and age, where we are already so wired in, I thought it’d be a good idea to share our stories, memories and recipes which mark Durga Puja.
Through Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja, let’s share, record and create an experience for anyone who has ever been part of Ma Durga’s homecoming. And leave a legacy behind, a footprint of sorts for the still tiny ones who will some day not so far away in time will Google for and stumble onto your story!
I am thinking on the lines of waking up one crisp, sunny Autumn morning to the intoxicating fragrance of shiuli phool, or rolling in bed to the mellifluous chants of Mahalaya. Wearing a new dress to the Pujobari, pandal-hopping like there is no tomorrow, and not even complaining about the shoe bite from which your feet are painfully aching now.
Sitting down only to quench your thirst with a bottle of Thums Up, and not really protesting when your friends “force” the piping hot beguni and alur chop for you to eat.
Holding the hot malsha of bhog and spreading your “hanky” under it, driving back home late in the afternoon. Napping in between celebrations to rejuvenate for the evening aroti and dhunuchi naach. Doing your grooviest “Mithun” steps to the beat of the dhakis.
Pandal hop again the next day. Check out more girls. Immediately try and look them up on Facebook with your smartphone if you hear a name like Chaitali or Barnali called out loud. And if you are one of the more adventurous ones, you even ask her out for an egg roll being made right outside the canopy of that pandal. Durga Puja for me is a reminder that happiness finds its way home. Every year. That every woman looks stunning on Dashami after a vermillion bath. That if you touch the feet of elders on Bijoya, you get a plateful of mishti, narkel nadu, tok-jhal dalmut and ghugni.
Durga Puja means we are still breathing…
Here is how you can participate in Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja:
- Have recipes and dishes that symbolize or represent Durga Puja, which you have cooked or eaten or both
- A story, a memory and a bagful of nostalgia around Durga Puja. You can become the narrator for someone else in your family!
- Have a home décor idea/ theme for Durga Puja
- Have photographs taken by you of Durga Puja, and all that fanfare around it. Don’t forget to add captions and little details about each photograph.
Post your entry on your Blog and link to this event. Also don’t forget to leave a comment here so that viewers are led to your post. Also send me an email at email@example.com with the following details:
- Title of your post
- URL of your post
There are no constraints on words, and archived posts are also welcome as long as a direct link to Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja appears on your post.
If you don’t have a Blog, you can still participate. Send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details: mention Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja in the subject line of your email.
- Title of your story/write up
- Your write up in MS Word
- Your name and location (will not be published, if you don’t want to)
- Preferably watermarked photographs in JPEG format
The last date to receive your entries for Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja is October 10, 2010.
I look forward to celebrating Durga Puja with you.
Till then, in the words of my great grandmother, Dugga Dugga.