23 October 2023

The differences in Durga Puja, as I remember

It is the same joyous and festive carnival that I remember. Of course the decorations and lightings have become more high tech. There are many many more street food stalls than I remember.

But three things stood out as very different from what I remember of Durga Pujas three to four decades back.

1. Did not hear much “dhak” noise. There were a few places playing recorded versions and many places had real “dhaks”. But none of the hour long heart thumping “dhaaker baajna”. Also, “dhaks” these days don’t have leather hide membrane. It seemed like some artificial material.

2. No fire crackers – whatsoever. I remember dad buying firecrackers on “sasthi” day every year and we would set them out in the sun to become bone dry. From “saptami”, the fun would start. I saw three days of Puja here this time. Not one firecracker was burst.

3. Every “mandap” has a side stage where all sorts of cultural stuff were going on. Songs, dances, poetry and what not. Interestingly, in the old days, all the chairs for folks to sit down used to point to the “pandal” where the idol was. Now, all the chairs are gathered around the stage set for the cultural activities.

But like I said, the crowded streets, the delectable street food, the smart dresses… they have all remained the same!

Posted October 23, 2023 by Rajib Roy in category "Vacations

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