Yes, its festive time once again and this week is already giving me ample reasons to get into it as I can see my home city is all decked and geared up in serious fashion and ready for it.
As the long serpentine ques of traffic starts in major parts of the City, large number of people gets into the festive mood visiting shopping arcades and entertainment centers and also merrily comes out on the streets, its a riot of colors already to be seen in it’s unadulterated madness and mayhem, as the Puja pandals[the elaborate temporary structures becoming the abode of Goddess Durga for these 5-6 days] gear up with all their extravagance and lighting displays, it’s carnival time here in Calcutta.
For the world outside Calcutta and India, the Durga puja festivals are not quite an alien concept nowadays, as it bears stark similarity to various carnivals held in many countries worldwide, and the pujas are being organised in quite substantial scale in many countries in similar pomp and splendour.
Officially starting from Monday, the 25th, the Durga pujas will completely immerse the citizens not only from Calcutta but from various parts of India and internationally in a trance like state, as there will be flurry of activities to be seen and experienced in all it’s sights and sounds and flavours. And I will try to give you inside snippets of this great festival next week as and when possible.
The picture you see above is from my yesterday’s[22nd September] visit to the theater in this high street fashion mall in the heart of the city called Quest. I reached the place somewhere around 11-30 am as it took me quite a long time to navigate the city streets in the long traffic cues already started due to the carnival spirits taking control.
Bang at the entrance, I got transfixed and looked at this beautiful goddess Durga idol being erected right in the middle of the ground floor area of the mall, and couldn’t help but to capture it with the beautifully decked up mall in the background. And it started sinking into me that like every year, this year the festive time is just around the corner.
And as I was slowly recapturing myself back into the reality, I started walking to the opposite direction of the ground floor arena in Quest and got transfixed again, there was another beautiful idol structure being set up in all its color and devotion. And I stood there in stark admiration, capturing every moment of it…..:)
So how it is like to be in this festive time….
For those who have never been to Calcutta during this time of the year to see what the Durga puja festival is like here, will find this to be a completely different ball game altogether than any carnival you might have seen.
You will be surprised to find so many people descending on the streets during these five days to travel in any mode possible to see their favorite Pandals and soak in the festivities. They are all prettily dressed up, with their loved ones and friends accompanying, with their clicking devices ready to take ample memories, armed with carnival items like balloons and horns, and large in numbers, in millions to be precise……you will surely love to get lost in that crowd as you can never be in such a happier crowd anywhere else.
It’s already a billion dollar festival and the hospitality and tourism industry gets their due mullahs much during this time as there is always a heavy buzz in the air. It’s party time folks and you have to take it all in and can’t ignore any of it……:)
The food and beverage industry remain full to the brim with business as they cater to millions of customers wanting to have a good time with their folks in tandem. It’s the most important 5 days of the year that everyone waits for.
The huge transformation the city gets during these few days is just simply amazing, as you will be amazed to soak in the sights and the sounds, there’s so much light around on every street, lanes, bye lanes, on the buildings, shops, offices, flyovers and specially the Puja Pandals…….the city really looks pretty in all its grandeur.
And as I can already see from my travels in the city during the last couple of days, the excitement meter is rising steadily. Currently people are busy completing their last-minute shopping as the festival gets awfully close. The shops in the streets and in the high-end malls are busy with activities and sufficient business to keep them smiling, as shopping favorite dresses for self and loved ones reaches astronomical proportions during these times…….:)
It’s always good over evil……the eternal fight……celebrated in the festive time…:)
It’s very difficult to stay away from the festivities in Calcutta and anywhere else it is being celebrated in the world. The attraction of this festival is very natural among the fellow citizens and devotees. As Goddess Durga symbolises the eternal fight of the good over evil, she blesses all of us to carry on with our lives in happiness and prosperity.
So here’s me wishing you all dear friends, fellow bloggers the very best from our biggest festival of the year, and the blessings of the Goddess guide you to carry on with your lives in happiness and success all through……:)