MY 200th POST
I had been actually looking forward to celebrate Durga Pooja this year since my sister, my brother in law and my sister’s in laws were at our home this time. Being a Bengali, Durga Pooja is the festival of the year. So here is a photo feature and an account of this year’s Durga Pooja.
Exams over!!! 4 out of 5 papers went well…one not that good. Results will be declared in Feb so till then I will be suffering from increased blood pressure.
So have you been a good reader and blogger this year? Do you want a gift from Ranta tomorrow? Ranta has already given a gift to a blogger who has been good to her this year. Start afresh with a clean slate from 26th Dec and remember Ranta is watching you. Maybe next year you will be the chosen one
This is the final post of the “Fun time of year” series. So Maa Durga’s visit to her parents is over and she has headed back to her home. My 3 days holidays are over and sadly I didn’t even start grading the answer sheets. But no regrets as I have a weekend ahead. So here is my post as a summary of Durga Pujo 2008. First I would like to share a wonderful video I found on You tube with same title as my post.
So while a friend is giving test at work, another is slogging hard with his female colleagues, another doesn’t even have a holiday on Dusshera and rest of you being equally busy, I’m enjoying today the first day of my 3 days holidays i.e. Mahaashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadashmi. I’d said in my part 1 post that I have yet to do the shopping. So finally I was able to prepare for Durga Puja by buying 3 dresses and 1 pair of shoes. I’d also said that my next photos will be those taken from my new digital camera. After much brainstorming with my sister and bugging her and to a much lesser extent Suda and Sakhi too, I finally bought my first digital camera. Yippeeee! Presenting Sony Cybershot DSC W170 :-
So its that time of year again. The time when my Dad uncovers the cassette player and digs out two cassettes of devotional songs in Bengali from the pile of cassettes which are now ignored in today’s world of Winamp and Channel V. He plays them every year on the first day of this time of year at an unholy hour of 7.00 am that too quite loudly. And we know by listening to “Mahishashur Mardini” that its Mahalaya i.e. the beginning of Durga Puja that day. You can listen to some songs at this link here.
Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It’s a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth – “Jago Tumi Jago”. This is done through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs. Since the early 1930s, Mahalaya has come to associate itself with an early morning radio program called “Mahisasura Mardini” or “The Annihilation of the Demon.” This All India Radio (AIR) program is a beautiful audio montage of recitation from the scriptural verses of “Chandi Kavya”, Bengali devotional songs, classical music and a dash of acoustic melodrama. The program has also been translated into Hindi set to similar orchestration and is broadcast at the same time for a pan-Indian audience. This program has almost become synonymous with Mahalaya. For nearly six decades now, the whole of Bengal rises up in the chilly pre dawn hours, 4 am to be precise, of the Mahalaya day to tune in to the “Mahisasura Mardini” broadcast.
Yesterday Vishwakarma Puja was celebrated in my Department of Electrical Engineering. Lord Vishwakarma is a Hindu deity known as the divine engineer and architect in Hinduism.
Hindu mythology is full of Vishwakarma’s many architectural wonders. Through the four ‘yugas’, he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In “Satya yuga”, he built the Swarg Loke, or heaven, the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the ‘Sone ki Lanka’ in “Treta yuga”, the city of Dwarka in “Dwapar yuga”, and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the “Kali yuga”.
Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated on Kanya Sankranti day which comes after Ganeshotsav. All engineering and architectural community celebrate this day and worship Him. Craftsmen worship their tools in His name. He is supposed to provide excellence and quality in work and blessing for proper working of machinery and tools. Though the festival is mainly celebrated in factories and industries with much grandeur, we have the tradition of celebrating it in our engineering college’s laboratories and workshop also. Here is a photo feature of the whole event. Place the mouse on the photos to read the captions.
Before you read this post I must repeat my disclaimer that this is entirely my point of view and it may offend conservatives and orthodoxly religious people. Rest are mature enough to understand what I’m trying to say. India is a land of festivals and all of them centered around some god/goddess or other. Today is Ganesh Chaturthi which marks the beginning of Lord Ganesh‘s festival of 10 days. Yesterday students had come to us lecturers, as they do each year, for monetary contribution to the festival. All of us contributed. But if it had been for Bihar Flood Relief Aid, most people would have been suspicious and hesitant to give money because they know their politicians and officials. But still my point is that our institution or the students didn’t even try to raise a fund for the aid, whereas they are ever eager to collect money and celebrate yet another religious festival. The question in my mind is what is the point of religion?
Taking this further, why are there so many symbols an Indian girl has to wear to show she’s married? To declare she is someone else’s property or taken or back off to everyone?? There’s red bindi
But what about our men? No, they don’t wear anything which may indicate their marital status except maybe their pot-bellies when in middle age!! Why this discrimination? This is one of the things I like about Christianity that they have wedding bands for both husband and wife.