Durga Pujo 2008 – Photo and Video Feature

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.

Now on Mahaashtami, Dad brought Bhog from our local pandal and we had that for lunch. Yummy! Bhog is the sacred food offering to Maa Durga which mainly consists of Khichdi (a dish made of rice and pulses) along with Ghant (mixed vegetables) and sweet items. This bhog is served only after the daily Durga Pooja and during lunch for 3-4 days of the festival. Its distributed freely to anyone asking for it irrespective of class, region and caste. I think this wonderful tradition evolved as Bengalis are major food buffs and our festival is incomplete without a hearty meal. Then in the evening we went pandal hopping. A pandal is a temporary structure made of bamboo, thermacol, cloth, and tarpaulin set up during Ganeshotsav or Durga Puja to worship them. Sadly only two pandals were playing some good old Bengali songs. Rest were playing the recent Hindi remixes which killed any feeling of awe or rather religious faith one may be experiencing in heart.

On our way we decided to visit a Navdurga pandal (non-Bengali one) too. To our shock we found there were tickets to see the Idol!! Last month my HoD had told us about his experience when he and his wife went for pandal hopping during Ganeshotasav. Most of the committees had enclosed the idol in the pandals they had set up and had ticket system to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Pimping of religion is touching new low levels. We decided we don’t want to participate in such a business and moved on. Depending on number of visitors, many pandals have different type of stalls in the surrounding area. Though Mahaashtami is supposed to be a non-veg free day and one should eat only wheat based food, at one pandal the aroma from the Biryani stalls entered my nose and I got one full plate parceled for dinner. My poor mom has given up on me and strongly believes that I was a lion in my earlier birth. :lol: My hometown is basically a township set up by SAIL. So it is divided into sectors. Hence the captions in the slide show given below. Move your mouse on the photos to see their captions.

One pandal had a surrounding huge field and the theme of the decorations in the field was Lord Krishna. I took a video of the area.

Here is a video of the traditional aarti of Ma Durga.

At almost every pandal, cultural functions like song, dance or play are performed from late evening to midnight. One such pandal had an orchestra. The singer was singing Bengali songs nicely but I couldn’t capture it on time. She was terrible in Hindi songs. :) Here is the video:-

Mahanavami was spent at home during the day and subjecting ourselves to the torture of Drona at theater in evening. Lastly as the custom goes in Bengalis, I wish my peers “Shubho Bijoya” and offer my “Bijoya Pronam” to those elder to me.

Related posts: Fun time of year Part 1

Fun time of year Part 2

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23 thoughts on “Durga Pujo 2008 – Photo and Video Feature

  1. nice post. .nice pics and indeed nice videos. .
    even though the lady dint sing it perfectly the song was worth listening to ..
    such an evergreen song .. :P

    Reema: Thanks!!!

  2. thanks for the post, pictures and videos. great insights for me since I’ve never experienced this festival first hand before :)

    Reema: I’m glad you liked my post :)

  3. the best part of Navarathri celebration over here in kerala is keeping the books for pooja ..one whole day n we rnt suppose to read or write !!! :D

    Reema:Oh we do that on Saraswati Puja in January for one day.

  4. Nice pics. The camera is showing its wonders! :)
    After eating so much, we all start feeling sleepy. Are you sure you will be able to grade the sheets? :P

    Reema: Thanks! I have to or my students will make me feel guilty on Monday! :)

  5. Nice pictures and video! Your description makes me want to join the celebrations there. :)
    Btw, why are you looking so angry in your pictures? ;)

    Reema: Thanks! Come over next year! Oh thats my serious face..I was kinda feeling conscious with so many onlookers (devotees) so didn’t feel like smiling. :)

  6. wow!tickets!Nest they might have some “traditional” bollywood dances who knows…height of hypocrisy…

    Reema: They may do that even! Making business of religion and then they raise hue and cry if we are not that much religious!

  7. I know…it really pisses me off when you have to pay to see any idol…the same happened with me at mudiali…its a real bummer…
    But nice photos…

    Reema: Welcome to my blog. Thanks! Keep visiting.

  8. tickets! to see a pandal?!?! My friends keep saying I should visit her in Calcutta/Asansol/Durgapur during Puja…May be I should along with A :D

    Reema: Tickets to see the idol inside the pandal :) It sucks! Yes you should go next year and enjoy the festive spirit if you don’t mind heavy crowd.

  9. awesome ! wish i cud experience durga puja once in my lifetime @Bengal too :( Happy Durga puja :)

    I didnt know about so many customs :) nice to get to know more about Bengali culture :)

    Reema: I hope you will someday experience it. Thanks!

  10. Lovely pics :)

    Usually Bengalis also celebrate Sindhoor Khela..

    Reema: Thanks! yes they do on Vijayadashmi before idol is taken for immersion but no one in family attends that so dont have pics of that.

  11. Your series of posts on Durga pujo has been fascinating and really cool. I loved every bit of it! My Bengali friends used to describe it in words but only after reading and seeing pics in your blog i got the real picture of the festival. You should have had great fun! Awesome feature!

    Reema: Thanks!! How is Navratri celebrated over there?

  12. Ticket for visiting a Pandal??? God!!! this is too much….

    We visited just one pandal and while we were making our way to go inside there was a concert going on besides the pandal and you know what song the lady was singing???

    “Race Saansoon ki, race dhadkan ki” and I tried to do some puja…these pandal’s would do anything in the name of commercialisation…

    Also since this was a bengali pandal their stalls were serving all kinds of non-veg snacks & food for me it was a shock because for us Navratri means no non-veg…I guess diff cultures…

    BTW Nice pics & video :)

    Reema:Yes in Bengalis even the Brahmin caste eat non – veg. Thanks!

  13. I couldn’t see video as firewall doesn’t allow me to view youtube. :(

    But after reading your post, I miss eating bhog. I haven’t eaten it now for years. Not attended a Visergan procession. I miss being in Bengal.

    I did go to have a fleeting glimpse of pandals this year.

    And congratulations for having that nice digican. I read all your posts now. It has been a long while since I read blogs of friends.

    Reema: U had attended a Viserjan? In that crowd? :-o Thanks for reading all my posts :)

  14. Tickettttsss???? What the Heck??? Hellooooo, from when did religion become a money making racket??? Gosh! This is truly disgusting. Wat crap man!

    Reema: Exactly my sentiments!

  15. Some of these snaps you have in your orkut profile, na? Should be from your new camera!!!

    Hey, Is bhog that yellow colored dish? I recently had Raj Bhog Ice cream from Aruns? Is it the same thing?

    Reema: Yes I have them there. No that isnt same. Bhog as I have explained in post is khichdi + sabzi + sweet. Total is called Bhog. And its given only in Durga Puja.

  16. Tickets to seek God’s blessings! May be they try to control the crowds this way. When God is available for darshan for free in other pandals many people would stay clear of pandals which demand money.
    I never appreciated remixes of popular Hindi songs in devotional music. At least I picture the original video and lyrics when I hear such songs. Good post, Reema.

    Reema: No that is done purely for commercial purposes as in my town there isn’t heavy crowd and as all pandals are in wide open spaces there is not much need of crowd control. Also I think crowd control can be done in better ways without taking money. Thanks!

  17. I am quite sure I commented on this post earlier… You wrote something on this durga puja before, didn’t you? The one where you displayed your wardrobe and ‘footwear’…? :D

    Reema: Grrrrrr….

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