I grew up in the hills of Darjeeling, one of the most beautiful places I have witnessed not because it’s my neighborhood but indeed it is beautiful. I know the situation there at the moment isn’t all that great. I know there is so much of bitterness between the Gorkhalis and the Bengalis and how I wish I had some kind of magic to make things alright.
Most of my life I was surrounded by the Bengalis , I was so fascinated by their Religion, food ,Culture , History, Art and so on. I still remember as a kid my parents taking us to Siliguri ,one of the neighboring City to see Durga Pooja , Visiting Pandals after pandals admiring how creative they could be ,eating, it was more like a fete for me. I used to just admire everything about this particular Pooja although I dint know much about it. Women wearing red and white Saree, with the makeup on, I secretly wished I could wear it one day. How I wish I could go back in time and relive those moments.
Hence, to relive the moment what I miss here Am to share a little about Durga Pooja and Durga Ma in my personal opinion. Sincere apologies if I miss out on anything.
Durga puja basically started as AKAL BODHAN (untimed worship) to defend and kill Ravan where the irony resides Ravan is the main purohit having the “Boon of life” from the goddess herself. Now a days we celebrate her almighty visit to earth as one of the main festival. As an old bedtime story from Grandma.
According to the Bengali culture, it’s that time of the Year where Ma Durga visits her father’s house for few days with all of her toddlers. Her beauty in red and white Saree and thick sindur on her forehead, a rage aftermath of killing Mahishahura is a perfect symbolic attire of all strong independent women “Yet bonded with love and respect”.
When an artist starts carving Maa he uses the soil (Punya Mati) from the land of the sex workers. The mud is collected because those people who visit the prostitutes for sex leave their purity and virtue outside the door thus making the soil in front of the home of a prostitute virtuous ,and once he draws the eyes (CHOKKHU DAN) the eldest woman in the family welcome her first presence.
It is believed that Maa lives in every Hearts from married to unmarried, widow to a prostitute.
While I still miss those days of my childhood where I used to get mesmerized by the colors, fireworks, alpona, pandal hopping, egg roll, Mishti and most famous sindur khala .
I still wonder why in today’s world every 30 minute one Durga is getting rapped in the name of the attire.Every one hour one is getting attacked by acid and the other getting burnt alive for dowry. The Incident that keeps happening makes me think where eve-teasing is not an offence but protesting against it is. Although I don’t want to point out I feel am compelled to. Our custom is filled with hypocrisy. Where Ma Durga and many other Goddesses are worshiped and adored in our Society, in the same society women are treated as just nothing. The whole Nation Prays to Goddess Durga for her blessings but conveniently ignore exploitation of women and male dominance over women.
The same society that goes to collect mud from the doorstep of a prostitute conveniently forgets for the rest of the year that they exist in the society. They are kept out of festivities and family functions. They are trampled and left to live in filth.
So here’s to all my Durgas , Please stand up for yourself , learn to fight . Remember even lord Shiva surrendered in front of Shakti with all his love and respect. Even mahishahura died in front of her. It’s time we wake up because We are unbelievably Strong and capable of doing anything in this World if we wish to.
Happy Durga Pooja to All.
Until the next post Keep being Fierce and Keep it stylish..