The time of any festival is a spectacle.. I have enjoyed festivals for many reasons.. religion or just for fun.. it always leaves a memory…
I got a chance to be part of a different festival .. Durga puja.. Different festival coz it’s the first time I was witnessing it… and I repeat.. it’s a Spectacle..
I happened to be here at a different time of the year where Monsoon was gonna hit it soon.. but for some reason .. dint seem like a monsoon.. during the course of my training I knew I would get to witness this festival… few I spoke to told I was lucky to be here at this time of the year.. None the less it wasn’t something I was looking forward too..
October came and I slowly noticed few lights been put up on the streets.. while walking in few places I saw few pandals being built.. the anticipation was building.. it was filling the air..i could see the joy everyone had during the first week.. Every house was going into a cleaning marathon.. old things were removed.. every corner of the room was made dirt free.. everyone tried to make an effort to make the celebration grand..
I returned back to my room, the lights on every street was lite up.. this side of Kolkata is made up like blocks.. EE CK CF DA DD.. I stayed in EE.. similar to small layout or society’s .. this fine evening I finish my dinner.. tried to increase the television volume loud enough to minimize the songs coming from the background.. around 9.40pm I decide to check it out.. In tracks and a Tee.. I walk out of my room and head towards the first of many pandals I visited… it was a massive reunion.. kids were running around.. one side of the park , on a stage some drama was going on.. I pulled my cell and started capturing the moment.. I walked into the pandal.. and it was a “spectacle” … the bright lights made the diety look beautiful.. I went back after a few minutes.. and hoped to visit few more if possible.. coz in the corner of my mind I knew.. this will be the last week I will be in this city..
The next day , I dint happen to go anywhere except work.. and then a Mall.. so I thought it would not be possible to visit any pandals.. 2 more days remaining and only 1 pandal .. wasn’t that satisfying.. to my surprise I noticed a pandal in the mall.. it had a nice theme to it.. “garnier products” impressive…
My count was now 2.. and I thought it was the last of them.. the next day I went for some minor shopping in the afternoon.. on the way back I happened to notice another pandal on the way.. I stopped the auto.. walked and made a visit.. the aroma of the food was all around the park.. every step came with another delicacy.. All pandals have big exteriors..like forts.. and the inside.. is on a another level…
Last day.. next day flight.. it had rained for quite some time now… I decided to get some local help to finish my shopping.. Rajdeep came.. after the shopping.. he took us across a street.. the traffic police were holding a rope across the footpath.. to control the traffic.. traffic is not the cars.. it’s the human crowd running around on the footpath.. the slow moving people made me remember the slow walk in Tirupati.I kept irritating him asking ,”are we there yet” his reply was “another turn.. some more some more” .. the last turn.. led me into a big crowd… the sudden rain dint cause much of a problem.. coz the final pandal was in sight.. we just had to reach there after the 30 mins of slow walking.. I pulled my camera and recorded my whole experience.. the light on top.. covered the whole ceiling..
After this.. we went to another small pandal.. which had the streets decorated with lights..
finally we decided to head back.. to Rajdeep’s club pandal.. going back was a problem as no taxi was ready.. no bus was empty.. and the traffic cops kept stopping the footpath crowd..
Around 11.. I reached rajdeeps place.. he first took us to a village themed pandal.. which had a simple theme.. nothing too flashy.. simple and elegant..
We also went to another pandal which had 10 hands pushing mahishasur back ..
which was also very inspiring..
I came to realize so much hard work for just 3 days of celebration.. I lost all count of the pandals I went to.. I remember being part of a festival which lit up the whole city.. united them all.. brought people from everywhere to unite..and sing in harmony.. eat and pray…