Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Shubho Mahalaya 2017 !!

Coming back to my home in Pune, the days have been flying by setting the house in order again.
Cooking has resumed and so the mojo, to click photos and make a post, is back.
The weather is fabulous .... the rains are back again after a short dry and hot spell ... which had led me to believe, albeit foolishly, that I can now sun the clothes and get about with our Autumn cleaning, which is a ritual before Durga Puja.

I could do with a little sunshine and kaash phool and some pujo pujo gondho though ... for the real feel.
But I'm happy with this too.
Just being back in my own domain is enough right now.

Yes, Durga Puja, any Bengali's most important celebration, is here, starting today.
It was in a blink of an eye, this year, that a whole month of Shraddh, has gone by.
And today is Debipokkho .... the day we welcome the goddess to her home on earth.
And which Bengali can ever forget this day?
Because this day is the day we listen to the Mahalaya.

Every Bengali, adult or child, is deeply connected to this day.
Waking up in the earliest possible hour to listen to Birendra Krishna Bhadra on the radio is a memory every single Bengali cherishes.
The heart strings still tug at the very strains of the Mahishasurmardini .... starting with that auspicious sound of conch shell blowing.
So melodious, so beautiful!
And so very nostalgic!

Naturally, the thoughts fly back to my childhood and home.
Since I have already written about Mahalaya and the memories that come with it here earlier, I am not going to delve into it again.

Rather, I would like to pray for all the souls out there to be able to find peace, wherever they are.
And pray for some peace on this world too .... there are enough souls suffering out here.

And this dawn, when I played the Mahishasurmardini on Youtube, I sat beside the window and watched dawn struggling to break through the dark clouds and incessant rain.
The air was heavy with the smell of early morning and rain and wet earth and smoke. A thick fog hung all over the canopy of trees.
And in my mind, I saw two visions.

In one, I saw a sleepy eyed girl snuggling in beside her father under the thick kaantha, in his swing, while the Mahishasurmardini played on the radio; dawn breaking outside and in the garden, near the window, the dew soaked Jui flowers falling soundlessly on the earth below ... filling the air with their fragrance.

In the other, I saw the same father lying in the same drawing room .... only this time it was on the  ground and not in his favourite huge swing bed.
The girl went out into the garden, in the faint light of dawn breaking, and gathered a big handful of the same fragrant Jui flowers, soaked with dew, and laid gently beside his head ... willing him to take a whiff of his favourite flowers before he left home forever.

Durga has come and gone twice since then.
And will continue to do so every year too.

And we will still look forward to this beautiful day of Mahalaya every year .... each of us with our very own memories and stories from the past .... and making more stories for the future.

Shubho Mahalaya everyone!
May this Pujo bring you lots of happiness!


  1. Missed you mam...

    You brought tears in my eyes...todays photo is too preety...even without food,you have given it a fresh look.

    Take care,
    Warm regards,

    1. Thank you Ash! You always say the warmest things.


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!