As she leaves us today, Ma Durga reminds us.. All things good and bad pass away. But come what, the fact of life is, truth triumphs. I also believe that waiting for the truth or your innocence to surface, is utter stupidity. One Life.. Do anything but wait. If you can't fight for it, then let it go. Move on.. Don't just wait. If it has to happen, it will. Want it that bad, but don't look back seeking for it. Shubho Bijoya to all my bengali friends!
On Maha Ashtami, we visited various Durga Pooja Pandals in Noida and had a great experience. It was first time that I was visiting these pandals, as I had my own interpretations about them in past which was always resisting me to be at home or do something else. It was a quick plan with some of the Bengali friends, who of course knew many things about Durga Pooja with right context. Apart from wonderful experience, I also got to know about various things around it apart from great food in stalls around these pandals.
While we stepped out of the office, goal was to try various Bengali snacks although agendas kept changing with kind of opportunities we noticed in these Pooja Pandals. Sector-26 stalls had best offerings in terms of Bengali Snacks. Amazing stuff with happiness all around.
While we were at Sector-50 Pooja Pandal, there were some live performances going on. We spent some time there to listen some beautiful bollywood songs. This singer was amazing with female-voice as well. All of us liked Sector 50 Pandal the most :)
Dhaki folks sitting near to Durga Statue and waiting for their turn... We listen to dhaki music at Sector 61 Pooja Pandal, where group of 5-6 folks were playing dhaki with full masti and sweet dance-steps.
In some of the pandals, some painting were placed in separate section and many kids were enjoying around this section.
A girl with her mother visiting the art gallery in Durga Pooja Pandals at Sector-50 Noida.
At times, these visits seemed like food visits to some market :)
Today's Puja goes far beyond religion. In fact, visiting the pandals recent years, one can only say that Durgapuja is the largest outdoor art festival on earth. The music, dancing, and art displayed and performed during the Durga puja played an integral part in connecting the community in Bengal, and eventually across India and the world today. In the 1990s, a preponderance of architectural models came up on the pandal exteriors, but today the art motif extends to elaborate interiors, executed by trained artists, with consistent stylistic elements, carefully executed and bearing the name of the artist. (More - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga_Puja)
Yummy Rabri after Fish Rolls, Checken Tikkas and some other Bengali snacks !
Sector 62 pandals had various performances aligned for folks visiting the pandal. This pandal was huge and there were sufficient setaing arrangements and fans installed all around the pandal. This person was acting on a Bengali song. Although, we could not follow the words but it was quite expressive and entertaining.
The sculpture of the idol itself has evolved. The worship always depicts Durga with her four children and occasionally two attendant deities and some banana-tree figures. In the olden days, all five idols would be depicted in a single frame, traditionally called pata. Since the 1980s however, the trend is to depict each idol separately.
Around Durga Pooja Pandals, many stalls for kids can be seen. Mostly people visit these Pandals with families and it's a wonderful opportunity for kids to do some shopping, enjoy more toys etc. In fact, I noticed some toys which are usually hard to find in in big malls in metro cities.
From the medieval period up through present day, the Durga puja not only celebrates the goddess, but brings the Hindu community together by integrating modernized aspects of entertainment and technology, while still maintaining the religious worship. Most of these Pandals looked more like a Entertaining lounge as compared to Pooja Place.
Somewhere inside these complex edifices is a stage on which Durga reigns, standing on her lion mount, wielding ten weapons in her ten hands. This is the religious center of the festivities, and the crowds gather to offer flower worship or pushpanjali on the mornings, of the sixth to ninth days of the waxing moon fortnight known as Devi Paksha. Ritual drummers – dhakis, carrying large leather-strung dhak –– show off their skills during ritual dance worships called aarati. On the tenth day, Durga the mother returns to her husband, Shiva, ritualised through her immersion into the waters–– Bishorjon also known as Bhaashan and Niranjan
The actual worship of the Goddess Durga as stipulated by the Hindu scriptures falls in the month of Chaitra, which roughly overlaps with March or April and is called Basanti Durga Puja. This ceremony is not observed by many and is restricted to a handful in the state of West Bengal. The more popular form, which is also known as Sharadiya (Autumnal) Durga Puja, is celebrated later in the year with the dates falling either in September or October. Since the Goddess is invoked at the wrong time, it is called 'Akaal Bodhon' in Bengali.
Loved the way she was enjoying these bubbles in Sector-26(Noida) Pandal. She was here with her parents for Durga Puja on Maha Ashtami !
Environmental hazards from the materials used to make and color the idols pollute local water sources, as the idols are brought directly into the river at the end of festivities. Efforts are underway to introduce eco-friendly materials to the artisans who make the idols. West Bengal has been credited by its own environmental agency as being possibly the first Indian State to successfully curb the use of hazardous paints. However, by their own account, only two-thirds of the idols made are currently colored with eco-friendly paints.
We moved between 4 Durga Puja Pandals in Noida dn it was great fun with friends. One of the Bengali friend told us many things about the way Durga Puja is celerated in different parts of bengal, but hardly remember all those details. At this time, I am not even able to recollect the names of Bengali Snacks we had.
Loved these snacks and hope to visit their one of the outlets in Delhi ! (Bijoli Grim)
Now onwards I will try not to miss this annual experience !