” Ruupam Dehi Jayam Dehi Yasho Dehi Dvisso Jahi
Ruupam Dehi Jayam Dehi Yasho Dehi Dissho Jahi
Namas thasyai namas thasyai namas thasyai namo namah..”
The madness begins:
I woke up with a start,as the last few lines of the ‘chandi path’ was being chanted in Mr.Bhadra’s powerful vocals.My husband’s parents had given stiff competition to the sun that day,and were awake since 4:30 am to drown themselves in the “pujo fever”.My father-in-law actually owns a Murphy radio(remember the movie “Barfi”?) and plays it at the highest volume possible every year on the day of Mahalaya. To those who are not aware of what it is, “Mahalaya” heralds the beginning of Durga pujo,the single most important festival of all Bengalis,including me! However,the incorrigible sloth that I am,I can never bring myself to wake up at the right time to hear the airing of the ‘Mahishashur Mardini’ chants that reverberate throughout the Bengali household on this auspicious day.However,even a sleepy-head like me can’t keep the excitement from seeping through,and I got up from bed with a big smile on my usually grumpy ‘morning face’.
With Mahalaya over,there was an amazing shift in the general mood of everybody in my vicinity…starting from the servants to the strangers on the roads,everyone appeared happier than usual,a sing-song tone pervading all conversation that hinted on Goddess Durga’s arrival.The pandals were almost ready,the “kumar-tuli’s” were crowded with grey & white idols,still in the making,the “kaash” flowers were swaying in open fields, & most significantly, FACEBOOK was crowded with a million updates & photos of Durga Pujo.If you are a Bengali,you will know the strange mixture of emotions that a picture of those pristine “kaash” flowers or a close-up of the Durga Maa’s face can evoke.I can safely declare that this feeling is absolutely universal,no matter whichever country you happen to be in ( my best friends are currently in the US & UK ,& they were actually more excited than me over the whole thing!)
So,we Bongs began the countdown to ‘shaptami’,the day which sees the first outpouring of bedazzled beauties in ethnic wear & dressed up men in shiny kurta-pajamas,everybody too conscious about their own looks to actually notice anybody else,but nevertheless,it is quite the sight to behold in an otherwise lacklustre Bengal.What made this particular pujo different was the tragic fact that our beloved Goddess seemed to be in a hurry to return back to her heavenly abode.There didn’t seem to be one person who could stay without cribbing about this unusual phenomenon. “aare yaar is baar toh bas do din milenge” ,said the random friend on facebook. “isshh ebaar maayer dekhaai pawaa jaabe naa” ,exclaimed my mother , “Dhurr etaa ki dhoroner pujo..aashte naa aashtei chole jaabe”, cribbed my sister…which left me wondering about the reasons why the Goddess seemed to be in such haste this year…’shoshti’ & ‘shoptomi’ were supposedly on one day,and ‘nobomi’ & ‘doshomi’ were again on the very same day!!!! It was just too much of a spoiler for the ‘celebration-thirsty’ bengali soul.
Unraveling the mystery:
Thus,in an effort to analyse the real reasons behind why our eternal mother left us confounded & wanting more,I have come up with a few pointers.Since,none of us can actually get an answer from the Lady herself (communication issues,you see..when on earth,all Gods are immobile & mute,the reasons for which we can analyse on another post! ),so,I would request the readers to resort to a temporary suspension of disbelief & judgement while reading further.
1) What with the ‘hokkolorob’ cries of mutiny spreading throughout our land against a certain ‘Didi’ & her ‘shaakreds'(or loyalists,as the sophisticated would call them)….Maa Durga’s four kids wanted to join the student community on the streets of Kolkata,instead of just standing like..errr..idols in the pujo pandals!However,their Dad called up from the Himalayas and furiously told them to stop nagging their mom about it,since getting down on the streets would break their Godly ‘code of conduct’ (the ‘cant move’ & ‘cant speak’ part!).Now,you know kids nowadays,they are pretty stubborn..Durga,unable to control the battalion,thought it better to make a hasty retreat,instead of convincing her kids to stay put.So,there you go,looks like the ‘hokkolorob’ rallies had quite a far-reaching effect…strangely enough,the ones against whom the rallies were brought out,seem to be unperturbed by all the ‘kolorob’…we sure wish that Ganesh,Kartik,Lakshmi & Saraswati join us on facebook to continue our protests!!
2) Being a Goddess has it’s perks,as we know too well by now,going by the great haul that was unearthed from the Tamil Goddess,Jayalalitha’s house & account..Now,being a Goddess,Devi Durga is already staying in a place where there are no malls & outlets,to speak of,and the few days that she is on earth,she has to make do with whatever we make her wear,whether she likes it or not..must be tough on the poor Lady!! Obviously,then..the moment Maa Durga heard of jayalalitha’s fortune of more than 6000 sarees & 20 kgs of Gold jewellery,she was even more flabbergasted than us & decided to take off early to run home & do some online shopping to match upto her ‘goddess standards’… 😛
3) The last reason is the MOST credible one, folks…Now,we know how the latest model from the ‘apple bandwagon’ has not lived upto people’s expectations,albeit, by bending like the moral-quotient of Bengal’s current politicians. 😉 What happened was, Durga had ordered the i-phone 6 just a few days before her scheduled flight to earth,and Lord Shiva received it when Durga was here.When She heard the news about the ‘bending’,Durga freaked out & took off to see if her phone was bent,after all the freaking money she had spent (that rhymed pretty well! )
So,if you have read through till here,and you think that I am funny…just switch on the news channel and read about the latest public comments made by our ‘respected’ leaders of Bengal,who think rape,molestation & political murders are ‘normal’ & advice their followers to ‘rape & murder the wives of the opposition’….then you will truly know what’s funny and what’s NOT!!
P.S. — Any reference to any political leader is purely coincidental…it’s just a sign of us.’bongo-baashi’s’ becoming totally mental with all the crime & corruption… HOKKOLOROB … LET THERE BE NOISE,LET THERE BE MUTINY… before it’s too late,or else,over the coming years,we might find that even the Gods are scared to alight on earth,specially Bengal!