It was the first time that she missed listening to ‘Mahisasurmardini’ at 4 in the morning. It was the first time that she saw pictures of pandals and idols on the social media network, instead of seeing it up front.
A year away, and the one thing that she missed was the Durga Pujo. As a Bengali, it is not only a religious occasion; it is a carnival in itself.
Like her, there are many, many people, born and brought up in Kolkata, living away from the homes they grew up in, the streets they walked across, and the time of the year they celebrated like there is no tomorrow.
Durga Pujo is something Bengalis have considered their very own, and nothing else can compare to the smell of the ‘chhatim’ and the ‘kadam phool’, the street food, the lights and sound.
However, for Bengalis, the good news is also hat there is rarely a city that does not have a band of people celebrating Durga Pujo. We call them the NRI Bengalis, those that have left home a while back, but have been very much in touch with their love for the city, the culture, the traditions. Durga Pujo is now celebrated worldwide, with pandals, arrangement of traditional bhog, and idols reminiscent of paarar pujo.
The best way to deal with the nostalgia of Pujo is to find out the Bengali community closest to you – most places will have a Bengali community that arranges and celebrates Durga Pujo. Volunteering in the preparations for Durga Pujo will keep you busy and will help you feel involved with the celebrations. Spend time with like-minded people who share your nostalgia, visit pandals put up by various communities and spend time celebrating the true spirit of Durga Pujo, not limited by boundaries.
Get in touch with your loved ones back home and share your experience and listen to theirs. Sharing experiences will help you relive the spirit of Pujo and will enhance your experience this Pujo season. Give them a call today!
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