Celebrated moments - Durga Puja 2016

To me and many other people from the state of West Bengal, Durga Puja is a celebration of life. An awaited time of the year when all plunge into delectable indulgence of celebrating the sweet togetherness of our society. It's a festival of charm, it's a festival of élan...it's a festival that celebrates the art and culture of the state and of the country as a whole. Kolkata especially is transformed into a showroom of vivid art, wherein the darkest niche of the city is enlightened with luminescence of the festival. It is something to behold. Palatial marquees or Pandals, replicating somewhere the City Palace of Udaipur, somewhere Taj Mahal of Agra or in some other location reliving the beauty of rural Bengal, its incredible and unbelievable.

But for the last four years, Durga Puja to us has been synonymous to Spandan. Spandan is a socio-cultural organisation of Mumbai that brings together likemindedness of the people who believe that life has a purpose, and so does festivals. Besides numerous activities that the organisation does for the society, every year it celebrates Durga Puja. But the festivities unfold with a purpose, we call it "Theme Puja", wherein we try to emulate some social cause through the marquee and the interpretation of the Goddess. This year we celebrated the "revered presence of our elders with us", and named the festival as "Janak-Janani Utsab". A subtle step towards the laminar acceptance of the yesteryears into the modernised realm of today. The idol had traversed miles to grace the grounds of Mumbai straight from the city of joy Kolkata. Made by celebrated artists of the city, our IDOL was a remarkable rationale explaining the beauty of the old, yesteryear traditions, that are never old enough. The impetus of which, resonated our theme, of the wondrous collaboration of generations.

These five days of Durga Puja breathes enough oxygen to survive an entire year of breathlessness. From the seraphic rituals that pulls you to a mist of devotion, to the echoing of the thunderous DHAK, from the aroma of DHUNO and the magic of DHUNUCHI NAACH to the illustriously dressed and effortless naive BONG dames, from the exhausting labour and never-ending enthusiasm of the organising committee to the long queue of thousands awaiting to taste the tongue-alluring BHOG every afternoon, from the enchantment of Nakash Aziz, Tirtha, Shayok to our very own talent hub, "POWAI SHARODOSTAV 2016" by SPANDAN FOUNDATION was a bumper hit and being a part of it was an honour.

Every year I adorn the ethnic during these days, cotton sarees, chunky jewellery and that round bindi empowers the woman, the narrator and the art lover in me. I also participated in a play, a comic relief called "CROSS CONNECTION", and as always enjoyed my niche of spotlight.

The late night ADDA, pandal hopping, loads of calorie intake and an absolute chaotic life, afterall imperfections makes life perfect, and thats why this festival is so dear to me. Looking forward to 2017, lets see what the coming year unfolds.....

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