Saturday, October 08, 2016

Why Durga Puja In Calcutta Makes Me Sad

Feeling a little emotional about Calcutta tonight, I sat down to put down my thoughts in writing but I am unable to because the radio is on — 106.2 FM, which describes itself as ‘Kolkatar gaan, Kolkatar pran’ (the songs of Calcutta, the soul of Calcutta).
I can, of course, switch off the radio, but that’s easier said that done when my kind of songs are plating back to back — Bengali as well as Hindi numbers of Kishore Kumar and R.D. Burman. It is one thing to possess a collection of these songs and play them as and when you want to, quite another when the radio plays them. When the RJ plays these songs, he validates the fact that your choice is far from outdated. In Calcutta, someone born in the 1970s can never feel old.
And just when you think that you know all the songs created during that golden decade, the radio springs a surprise. Only minutes ago, the channel played a Bengali song that instantly grabbed my attention: sung by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar and pictured — as I discovered on You Tube — on Amol Palekar and Sharmila Tagore in a 1979 film called Mother.
The song has made me even more emotional.
I am not alone. This is that time of the year when every Bengali living in Calcutta gets emotional. It’s Durga Puja, after all. But why should they get emotional during Durga Puja, the ultimate season of joy and festivity?
That’s because they spend the entire year waiting for Durga Puja, but once the goddess and her four children have taken their positions in the neighbourhood pandal, realisation dawns that the next four days will elapse in no time — and that they would have to once again wait for another whole year.
They would ideally like the calendar to bear only four days — sashti, saptami, ashtami and navami — and make life an everlasting celebration, but that would be like trying to hold on to the sand in your fist. The sand slips out: day by day, month by month, year by year. And that’s how we get old.
Fortunately for Calcutta, the end of Durga Puja does not mean the end of celebrations. Durga Puja is followed by a host of other festivals, lasting throughout the year, before Durga Puja stages a grand return once again.
But for a Calcuttan, a lot can change between one Durga Puja and another. One may not be around to see the next Durga Puja in the neighbourhood pandal for a variety of reasons: one could find a new job and move to another city, one could get married and move to another city, or one could just die of disease or accident during the intervening 300 or so days. To be present at the neighbourhood pandal during Durga Puja is an assertion of being alive — and that explains why the festival is such an emotional event.
I may not be a true-blue Calcuttan — I have been living in Chennai for almost 16 years — but of late even I have been marking my attendance on Planet Earth by visiting Calcutta every Durga Puja. That is why I feel so emotional today — that the festivities must come to an end so soon. Can’t good things last a little longer?


Anonymous said...

When good things last longer, don't they become mundane routine and lose their sheen? It is the wait that makes one long and belong. The festive air always makes one emotional no matter where in the world or what festival. Nice to see your post after ages. Enjoy the festive season.

MAANSI said...

I personally feel everything has their own beauty. Whether it's good or bad. And when we expect bad things to elapse we must prepare our mind to accept the fact that good things will pass as well.
And the wait makes good things more exciting and alive.
Once a greate ruler asked his one of the minister to write one line on the wall when I see it in my good times can make me sad and when I see it in my sad time can make me feel good. That minister wrote "this time will also pass".
So we should enjoy each and every moment rather than being sad about the things which is obviously going to happen or might not.

Yogesh Kumar said...

Not everyone you meet in your lifetime is meant to stay with you forever. Some stay longer than others, and some go as swiftly as they arrived. At first, of course, you’d have a hard time coping when people leave your life, especially if what you were really hoping for was for them to stay. It can be hard to say goodbye sometimes. But as time goes by, you’d realize that things always happen for a reason; you’ll learn that some people go because they are meant to go.

Sometimes you will find the GOOD in Goodbye. Goddess Durga never wants her Adorer(Bhakt) worshiping and chanting all the time. she wants enthusiastic passionately welcome and devotional love at the valediction and nothing else.

And we as an Adorer should also give her a nice goodbye and let her go. we should enjoy each and every moment of life. we should prepare our mind for the next year so that we can welcome Goddess Durga with full of Zeal, Devotion and love.

Soni chaudhary said...

Everything in our life is not meant to be stay forever or stay till we want, everything in our life has their validity, it could be a person, it could be a thing that we love most.. but every has to go after sometime as nothing lasts forever.. but it's not a thing.. every coin has its two side so perhaps it all happens so something new would come in our life.

DEVIKA said...

Durga puja is a festival of worship,devotion and indulgence. It surely feels bad when it ends but with every ending comes the anticipation of new beginnings . Hope is what keeps us alive and we should always be optimistic as they in bangla "Asche Bochor Abhar Hobe" (It will happen again next year).