Just today as i was passing by a kabab shop near oakhalipuram (Bangalore), ahhh.. the smell of chicken fried in crimson red chutney. But then i suddenly realised I never liked that smell or even gave it any kind of thought. Then I realised that its the same smell i get every time i pass by the food stalls set up during Durga Pujo (the pujo).
This is what pujo does to you. By itself it lasts for just 4-5 days but what it does to a bengali for the rest of the year is phenomenal. Its like an ecstasy, the experience time is incomparable to the effect time. As i listen to Anjan Dutta's Bela bose, the 2441139 song.. i run into the amazing night of that novomi this year. The night of Maddox square, I was pleasantly drunk on Rum Limon (thanks to Dia Didi for that) and the 'back benchers' (the band that just plays guitars and all of us sit around them in that onion layer form) were belting out the songs i had never heard but wanted to always hear. Prithibi ta (the bengali version of bheegi bheegi), 2441139, coffee house made all of us hopeless nostalgic bengalis go in a trans that will keep the effect for the whole year.
The mixture of anxiety, faith, love, freedom, freaking out helps out await the pujo. I can never forget the amazing aarti's, morning events, the night musicals, the chicken egg rolls, the begging for permissions to go out from parents, the cool drinks, the night dances with the whole family and friends ofcourse. The 'Maangsho Bhaath' (meat and rice) on the novomi night.
The best part of the pujo is that the feelings is the same for all age groups. My mom, my dad, my jethu, my sis every one awaits it with the same kind of intensity, but all have their own reason for awaiting the pujo.
The feeling is always great during pujo, though the gossips are shared the people are also ready for some patching ups. There seems to be a positive energy over the place. Teasing, sharing gossips, flirting, faith have their new heights during the pujo.
But the funny part is that it always rains hard during pujo. Maybe the amount of unusual things (read above) that happen during the pujo could help us reason out the rain!! :)
Oh how i miss the Pujo....