The month long festive period has come to an end. It all started with the run up to Durga Puja. All that saree shopping and matching accessories search, non withstanding the extended buying for kids and relatives ended when Durga Ma came home. A whirlwind week of enthusiasm and gaiety, pushpanjali and pandal hopping followed. Steaming ‘Khichudi’ and Labra with little side dishes left us wanting for more. For once we did not mind waiting in long queues to partake of this.
Nothing can beat the beats of a ‘Dhaak’. It seems the beats enter into our system, and sets each cell reverberating in unision with it. The whole universe seems to be dancing to it. I seem to be going into a ‘trance” then.
Then comes Laxmi Puja, Kali puja and Bhaiphota. Diwali is ‘Kali Puja’ for the Bengalees. Ma Durga’s another appearence in that form before bidding us good bye.
Now she too has left. The beautifully done Pandals are being dismantled. The little roadside shops selling snacks, crackers, flowers etc. have disappeared. The dhakis who play the ‘Dhak’ are no longer seen or heard. The visible joyousness has disappeared. The brothers have gone back after the visit to their sister’s homes with a promise to ‘ protect’ them.
Women were frail before, needing protection of brothers and husbands. Now they wish to
stand up on their own and ‘protect’ instead. Why not? When the essence of Ma Durga and Ma Kali reside in them, who can stand against them?
The celebrations are long since over but the bliss persists like a soft fragnance that lingers….