DURGA PUJA AT MY VILLAGE
This durga puja i was taken back to my roots; i remember long time i detasted the very name of a village. the boring atmosphere, no television, phones wont work even my parents seemed to love me less. they were sort of absorbed in the serene and calm atmosphere of the village surroundings. the only living creature who loved me was the mosquitoes..........which i hated of course, so you see i wasnt really keen on going or even staying a village. So loving my roots was a miracle this year....
My village is called Binodbati. It is situated in Uday Narayanpur in Howrah district.
Durga puja in the Mukherjee family is over 350 years old. it is one of the oldest Durga Puja in the Howrah district.
the Durga puja begins by collecting soil in Janmastami for making the deity. It is said that one of our predecessors dreamt of Ma Durga telling him that the soil for making deities is to be found from the base of a particular tree, which is a bit far from our ancestral house.
The soil collection is a ceremony, done with proper rituals. A part of the ritual also involves feeding the village folks. the main puja starts from shasti/saptami. The puja is done by one of our family member. No outsiders are allowed to do the puja.
above you see the preparation "kalabau" (the banana wife), said to the wife of ganesh. he is bathed and dressed into a sari wnd jewels. a lot of rituals are also done for her to be presented as the God's wife.
one of my very bautiful aunty, in the center.......it is mandatory in our family to wear this type of sari if you are taking part in the pujas and the males wear "dhotis".
this you see is called "Thakur Dalan" which means the place where the gods are worshipped.
This is our Idol. This particular style has big elongish eyes of Ma Durga......it is a very popular style during the pujas.
The arrival of Lakhsmi and Narayan.
Here Lakshmi is represented in the form of rice grains........a symbol of the staple food of Bengal. She is then decorated with beautiful clothes and jewelleries.
Our family "dhaki" named Budo.(the guy in the 'dhoti')
This offereing of fruits, rice, lentils, dates and sweets etc. is called "noibedyo". It is an offering given to the gods on all days of the puja.
Our kitchen area. All these vegetables come from our farm.
On Saptami starts the "naro narayan seva" and it goes on till Nabami. It is basically a process where all the male members of the family serve people who come at our for lunch/dinner. Anyone and everyone is invited and fed, there is no restricted on the number of people. Infact this process often goes on till 10/11 pm at night just because of the crowd.
Below are the pics of the "naro narayan seva". This was taken on Saptami, the crowd on other days are 10 times more than this.
On dashami, my present uncle who is a doctor treats all the villagers for free, along with medicines and other required treatments. This was started by my late grandfather Dr. Bimalendu Mukherjee.
Dashami is also the day when the deity goes for immersion. The diety is immersed at a nearby pond.
There is also a separate temple in my house called the " Bisalaxmi Temple" The word "bisalaxmi" translates into Bengali as "the one with the big eyes". The temple courtyard is called "Bisalaxmitala"
So these is basically a jist of my family puja........although this small blog is not enough to write about the entire puja, i have tried to fit as much information as i can. I will write more about my village and share few sights n memories related to it.....so enjoy and read on!!!
May Ma Durga bless everyone and fulfill everyone's wishes!!!