Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good and Evil and Durga Puja

Durga Puja - celebration to mark Durga's yearly visit to her father's house on earth - the central theme of a Hindu Bangali's religious, cultural and social existence, can be extremely disruptive to a blogger. Here I am trying to pick up threads of my regular blogging activities, still recovering from the hectic 4 days of fun.

A typical day of a Durga Puja - get up in the morning, skip breakfast, go to the puja mandap, offer "onjoli" (offering of flowers to the goddess with 3 short rounds of mantra - repeated after the priest), have a community feast consisting mainly of kichchdi, a mixed vegetable and, of course, sweets, enjoy the cultural show organised in the evenings (singers, dancers, theater, etc.), eat chicken rolls (chicken pieces wrapped in a roti), return home late and crash.

The Durga Puja ends with the common theme of all religions - the victory of good over evil. So far so good. But with ever changing definition of good and evil, it becomes rather difficult to correlate religious themes in your daily life. It is therefore best to suspend inquiry and enjoy the colours of these festivals.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

ARJuna said...

The bengali word "onjoli" reminded me of the book I read just before Navraatri, I dunno if you have read it but it's writer shares your name...the book is "Above Average" by Amitabha Bagchi it is a beautiful prose on the life of a bengali teen growing up in Delhi searching for his roots and himself against the competitive background of IIT-Delhi. And yes, it has a mention of durga puja and the various cusoms rituals and events associated with it.

My Library