its just the 6th of september but i have a mixed feeling going on..i a happy the pujo is around the corner but i am sad too..i have this very comforting habit of saying"uummm what was i doing last year or month or week this time this day" and thats why i am sad..i was super excited for the pujo..my first pujo last year was also my first with vermillion on my forehead,some red and white shakha pola(traditional bengali bangles made of red and white coral to denote the marital status of a woman)i was very busy packing mine and G's bags deciding what would be worn on which day and during the morning or evening,picking up tiny gifts for the kids and family,remembering to pack the photo albums,the t-shirt for baba and the shiny sequined clutch for ma.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Ever since the time i remember we have been going to our ancestral Pujo badi in Dhanbad,where every one of us,gathers from all across the country and beyond, bonded by the divine strength of Durga. this is one time in the year that all the members of my paternal family get together to live 5 days of celebration ,food,conversations,paan(beetle leaf) and Pushpanjoli(offering prayers to the Godess) in our old baadi..though we visit it just once a year i always refer to this house as badi(home) since thats how it has been over the last several years of the celebration.
the sound of the dhaak and conch shells open your eyes as you welcome the Goddess to stay amid us for the next 5 days..tradition has it that offering the early morning prayers empty stomach always fulfills them but the smell of the luchi and cholar daal,seved by the cook who has been a part of this legacy for the last 29 years, and some extra serving of bundiya.the day continues as there is a lot of catching up to do it with the cousin from Yale, the newly wedded bowdi, the niece living in Karolbagh , the jethu from New Jersey and the star attraction of this year, my new bowdi,born a chinese,raised in US married to a Bengali. what follows this is another gourmet meal which can never be dished up by the swankiest places. A leaf plate made of the local tendu tree,has some dazzling white steamed rice, crispy aaloo bhaja and daal.As the conversations continue across tables, none of us being too keen on table manners here, we continue having Ilish maach and some sinful mishti doi..
Evening are times for dressing up, where usually one girl gets her hair pleated while she is applying eye line for another.The elderly women get dressed and seated in the same old blue and silver pondall we have in our house with the men folk discussing politics and cricket...with a bengali around you will never run short of that!!! while the younger generation continues with their "wassup" and the aaroti naach i always amaze myself how among all the "wassups" and " dudes" amid the e-mails and orkut, amid the mid-life crisis and long-term investment plans, between the low-cost airfares and the everyday life,my family still has this legacy going..a story that runs in my mind everytime i hear the wordu, the legacy that has made me what i am today prod of ,my roots, the Goddess that gets 150 members of the same family under one roof, the sound of the mantra that makes me join my hands and bow,the beauty of how so many people have been coming together for 160 years, the joy of spending nights talking with everyone,the smell of the evening chaa and shinghara,the cants of "Aasche bochor abar hobe",the immersion of the Goddess thanking her for this year and asking her blessings for the one to come.
This is for all my cousins babun jeet titli deep shona ma and the whole gang..i am going to miss you guys so much this year !!
This is the actual durga bhashan video of last years,flicked it from my sisters orkut account ;)