Thursday, October 13, 2011

Series of festivities!

We so determinedly say that we are Indians, but seldom have we seen it the way a foreigner would. Rarely do we try to get into details and examine the affairs happening around us with even a pinch of curiousity. Well, I would not count myself out of the lot, but I dare say that past two days have changed things in me to a great extent. Reasons are two – Durga Pujo and Dussehra.

These two days must have crossed me every year for more than 2 decades but never I stopped and tried to understand their history or the reason why they took over a person’s lifestyle. This time having closely felt the drum beats coinciding with my heart thumps, I surely lived these two events.
Having taken the pain to travel all the way to CR Park and convinced my parents to accompany me, I was pretty excited to witness what I never had before. In fact, I could not distract myself from thinking about the super-awesome food being sold there, which my friend Debbie could not even stop to breathe while talking about. Thus, commences my accumulation of insights and observances.

CR Park is a home to a large Bengali community in Delhi and as Wikipedia says, today despite its growing cosmopolitan demographics, it remains home to a flourishing Bengali community, and hub to Kolkata-style street food stalls, offering Bengali cuisine, fish markets, temples and cultural centers. And, Durga Pujo is six days of worship of Hindu Goddess Durga, wrapped in loads of fun, frolic, excitement, music, dance and exhilarating celebrations. At CR Park, I not only witnessed huge pandals of Goddess Durga but also skipped a beat while watching people dancing to please her, carrying huge, nicely decorated drums. Not to forget the food, which was as deflecting as ever! I also could not stop looking at nicely dressed men and women, who were probably wearing their best dresses, further decking themselves up with their best of accessories and jewelry. Thus, with all this merrymaking, my day ended with a hard-to-extinguish excitement of being a part of such a colorful event.

The next day, Dussehra was equally jazzy and vibrant. Derived from a Sanskrit word, Dasha-hara meaning ‘remover of bad fate’, this festival is celebrated on the tenth day of Maha Navratri. It is also believed that this day, Lord Shri Ram killed the great demon, Ravana, who had abducted Rama’s wife Sita and took her to his kingdom of Lanka. I witnessed the burning of effigies of Ravana, which was filled with lots of firecrackers, which in turn is believed to purify the atmosphere.

In other words, these were two memorable experiences which pulled and tied me closer to my culture and beliefs. Here are a few pictures of the same:

Pandals at Durga Pujo
Fireworks at Dussehra
The Ravana effigy


Cheena Chopra said...

@Rajkamal: Thanks!

Mukul said...

seems u did your homework well !!!!

Cheena Chopra said...

Yeah, for the first time!

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