All three years of my college life, there was a specific date reserved for lunch with my school friends. Ashtami was always earmarked for the yearly get together of a crazy trio (including me).
In fact as the days of the Pujo came nearer, news always reached me which pandal was being made of what and we started planning with our friends to visit those pandals. One day was of course reserved for pandal hopping with my family.
Instant plans were also made when we were out of plans.I still remember a friend (as adventurous as me) calling me up in the morning saying that there is still one day of the pujo left and we had no plans. So it was decided we cant let this happen and met in an hour to enjoy the one day left before bhashaan.
Residing in an area which is the hotspot of Durga Puja in South Calcutta it is impossible to not miss it. In Bengali people say ‘Ashche Bochor Abar Hobe‘ to reiterate that there would be double the fun next year. But I would say ‘Ashche Bochor Hotei Hobe‘ to console myself by saying that next year I will have to make it for the Pujas.
Here in Manchester there are a few places that host Pujas. But I would call it a silent festival as there are no Dhaakis to announce the onset of the Festival; there are no children playing the drums constantly near your ears; babies in the laps of their parents do not take to the blowing whistles , the noise of which starts blowing your mind after a certain while; there are no colourful balloons in the air and neither are there bubbles reflecting the colourful environment.Hardly do even a hundred people gather around for the celebrations.
But nevertheless, probably it would turn out that staying away from home and the festival for a year will make me enjoy it in a grand scale next year. So, I leave you guys with best wishes for this Pujo and a very advance Subho Bijoya . Hope you guys enjoy this year and some of you are kind enough to send some photographs (Wink). The photographs used in this post are from my archives of previous year’s Pujo.