Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Durga Pooja

Durga Pooja, this festival is not merely another Indian festival for me. It evokes a lot of happy memories from my childhood. Durga Pooja used to be the most awaited and the festival with most fun, even more enjoyable than Holi or Diwali.

Having lived very close to the Bengali community and having many Bengali friends, Durga Pooja became an important festival for my family as well. The enthusiasm that went into the preparation of the festival, watching the clay idol of Goddess Durga being made, the Pooja ‘Pandals’ being constructed (every year with a new theme and the competition among the neighbouring areas as to whose was the best), the excitement when we used to go to visit all the other ‘Pandals’ and Poojas in the nearby areas (of course, in our new outfits), the fascination to participate in the ‘Pushpanjali’ (morning prayer offering flowers to the Goddess) and the overall festivity mood used to be amazing - specially on the three days- ‘Ashtami’, ‘Navami’ and ‘Dashmi’ (eighth, ninth and tenth day of the festival).

So far any other festival has not been as fascinating and enjoyable as Durga Pooja. Even when I went and stayed at different places for my higher studies and jobs, I have always missed this festival and the celebrations. Some things leave everlasting memories and memories of Durga Pooja celebrations from my childhood days is among them.

Only when I went for higher studies, stayed in hostels and met people from different communities, states and cultures did I come to know the different ways in which people celebrate during the same time as ‘Durga Pooja’ in the form of ‘Navratri’ and ‘Dussehra’.

This year I went with family and friends to visit the Durga Pooja at Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi. It was certainly not the same as compared to the memories that I have, yet, it was a reminder of those celebrations and it was good. The pictures here are of two separate celebrations at C.R. Park.

Pictures of Durga Pooja at Chittaranjan Park

1 comment:

sushilsingh said...


'Nav' means 'nine' and 'ratri' means 'night', thus, 'Navratri' means 'nine nights'. There

are many legends attached to the conception of Navratri like all Indian festivals but

all of them are related to Goddess Shakti (Hindu Mother Goddess) and her various

forms. Though it is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindu calendar, it holds

special significance for Gujratis and Bengalis and one can see it in the zeal and fervor

of the people with which they indulge in the festive activities of the season.