Durga Pujo – celebrations within the celebration
It’s that juncture of the year when time literally stops in Kolkata. Sorry not Kolkata, for Bengalis across the globe. I am speaking about the biggest Carnival of Bengalis called Durga Pujo. It is better we don’t call it a festival but a carnival as the mood is that of a carnival. A festival with the mood of a carnival and perhaps the festival which epitomizes the character of Kolkata and Bengalis in its true spirit. The calendar holidays are marked from almost 6 months prior. The budget for the Pujas are made and for all young guns in charge of different puja celebrations, this is the first brush of Project Management and MBA studies which involves financial planning, production, procurement, marketing and coordination. The tourist Bengali who loves to travel and believe that he could have been a globe trotter otherwise, starts planning his vacation and booking tickets. The excitement snow balls into a time bomb somewhere else also which we will come to later.
The celebrations start early and when I say early, I mean from 4.00 AM on a particular day of the year. That is called Mahalaya. Mahalaya is the day when it is believed that Ma Durga had left her abode in Himalayas to come to her mother’s home on earth. Well, by earth, we Bengalis mean Bengal! This is one morning which is very special for all Bengalis and even in today’s age, the radios get repaired, batteries are bought and a generation Bengalis switch on to Akashvani Kolkata K for listening to the legendary chanting of ‘mohishashur mordini’ and ‘chandipath’ by late Birendra Krishna Bhadro. It is an incredible sight to watch the ceremonies which are carried out on the banks of Ganga. It is a photographers delight and if by chance one visits Kumortuli (the famous pottery place in Kolkata where all the idols are made) then one will witness the final touches being made to some idols, while the idols which will travel distance already starts leaving the artisans house. Mahalaya is also countdown for these artisans who have been working relentlessly for the last 3- 4 months and moreover it is a countdown for them for the final touches for this year.
As I said the excitement has been snowballing somewhere else, it is with the femme fatale of the families or in simple words the mothers, aunties, didis of the house. The excitement is for two reasons; one for the shopping as wearing new clothes is mandatory for everyone and the second one is food. It is a well known fact by now that food forms an integral part of any festival of Bengalis. Being an auspicious occasion it is also a time for spring cleaning and every nook and corner of the house gets cleaned. Lost toys, important documents and many more things surface out. It is like opening a can of worms and that’s the time when Godrej Lal Hit comes to play. The kitchen becomes the major playing ground with serious revamping happening as this is the time when the traditional as well as modern dishes get made for the family. Be it the shukto, kosha mangsho or luchi alur dom. The young girl tries her first hand at preparing shukto for the family under close observation of her mom, the newlywed bride will try to make fried rice and chili chicken for the first time or the affectionate mother will cook luchi and alur dom for her son, daughter in law and grandson who have come home to pujo. So it turns out to be a celebration within a celebration. What’s your celebration of Durga Pujo? Do let us know.
Amongst all these celebrations it is necessary to keep the kitchen clean and this is a sponsored post by Godrej lal hit which ensures that the hidden cockroaches in kitchen, especially in the nooks and corners, behind a cabinet or behind a kitchen cylinder are killed. What helps is the long deep reach nozzle provided with the Godrej Lal Hit for spraying in these special places. Cockroaches are synonymous with most kitchens and they are the creepiest crawling creatures living in houses, mostly kitchens, spreading germs and bacteria leading to food poisoning. Madhushree is very finicky about keeping the kitchen clean and no matter however late in the night, she makes it a point to clean and with a product like Godrej Lal Hit. It can be and should be incorporated in the monthly deep cleaning process of the kitchen.
Disclaimer – This post is in association with Godrej lal Hit.