The five-day Durga Puja festivities that blend devotion, socialising, delicious food and cultural programmes, for the city's Bengali community concluded on Sunday with the immersion of the idol of goddess Durga in Krishna waters.
Come Dasara, the familiar sound of ‘dhak' and ‘dhunuchi naach', where devotees take to dancing in front of Maa Durga's idol with earthen pots filled with the burning husk of coconut, gives a tug at every Bengali's heart. The pots are balanced in the hands, in the mouth, or on the head. The Railway Institute became the hub of Bengali community for the last five days, with members of the Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee thronging the venue throbbing with a rare buzz.
Being one of the main festivals of Bengalis, the organisers triedputting up a show, closest to what it is like at home in Kolkata. The elevated idol of the supremely radiant Maa Durga with her 10 arms, riding a lion and exhibiting a meditative smile, seemed to have sprung to life. Chanting of Vedic mantras, Chandi path, pushpanjali and a free lunch as Devi Maa's ‘prasad' in the mornings and afternoons and the traditional ‘sandhya arti' closely followed by entertainment programmes kept the devotees in good humour.
On Sunday, the customary ‘sindoor utsab' preceded the immersion of the idol. Married women offered sindur (vermilion) to goddess Durga and then to each other. It is considered auspicious“Earlier, we used to bring the idol from Kolkata. Then we started bringing it from Hyderabad. But now, we have it made locally. The height of the idol is restricted to avoid any possible hassle at the time of immersing it in the river,” says T.J. Bhattacharya, president of the Puja Committee, which has been hosting the celebrations for the last 34 years.
The Puja Committee members are elated this year to receive special greetings from the likes of the Trinamul Congress president Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and the Governor.
Mr. Bhattacharya says the committee is grateful to the local traders who have been patronising the celebrations in a big way by sponsoring various events.