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Shiuli Fills The Autumn Breeze

There is no dearth of articles and information on Durga Puja available throughout the web, where you will get ample information on why and how the Puja is celebrated, the rituals and what not. Well, all these articles are great to share the information on the Puja to make you aware of the “technical” details of the festival. Yes, you read it write. I said technical details because ask a Bengali what s/he feels about the festival, and your concept of Durga Puja will totally transform.  Every time you will get a new answer to mesmerize you.

shiuli flowerWith the onset of October, you will hear everyone Bengali at heart say “The weather is changing. The breeze smells like that of Durga Puja. Hmm feels nice.” So, what is so special about the breeze? Nothing! Except the fact that the slightly cool early morning breeze and the soft warmth of the golden sunrays remind you of the approaching festival that brings a lot of joy and festivities with itself. If you ask me, I can still smell the fragrance of Shiuli (Harsingar flowers) in the air with the onset of the Autumn that I used to collect for my mother to offer to the Goddess. The heart fills with an unexplainable happiness while waiting for the 5 days of festivity.

Someone asked me one day “Bengalis wear new clothes on this occasion, right?”

I nodded in affirmation and the statement almost instantly took me back to my childhood. How we used to wait for the whole year to do our Puja shopping. Ma used to prepare her shopping list, not only for us but for all our relatives, way before the arrival of the Puja. The list included clothes, shoes, cosmetics, jewellery, hairpins, Sari for Durga Maa and stuff like that.

I still remember when my Ma and Baba took me for shopping one year amidst heavy downpour with not even a single crinkle on their forehead. Reason? All the shopping for my sisters were done and only mine was left due to my midterm exam.

We used to buy the stuff all through the month prior to the festival and flaunt them in front of our friends. “You are lucky, you get two extra dresses” My friends used to tell me. Why? Because my two elder sisters were doing PHD and both of them bought me one dress each every year with their scholarship. And I used to feel myself on cloud nine, luckier than my friends with two dresses extra.

dhak-dhunuchi-naach

Come Mahalaya, the first day of Navratri, and the sound of Chandi Path echoes through the swirling cool breeze reciting the story of how Maa Durga killed the demon Mahishasur, story of triumph of good over evil and story of invocation of the Goddess.

In fact, Durga Puja is not only about worshiping and seeking blessings alone. It’s also about the dhak (drum), about dhunochi nach, pandal-hopping through the nights, about hogging on all kinds of food, about getting dressed in the best of the attires and enjoying with friends and family. It’s about nostalgia, about reunion, and about celebration. It’s not just a custom. It’s about life and its many meanings. Durga Puja is all about the spirit of happiness!

About The Author: Shilpi C:

I am an ardent reader, an avid traveler and a blogger by choice. Digital Marketer by profession, I am passionate about reading, travelling, food and technology. I love to share the new things I come across during the journey of my life and so….I started writing.

Author’s Blog: mybookshelf.in

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