Planning and celebrations galore for Durga Puja

Durga Puja celebrations. Photo: K Murali Kumar  

Shyama, a personal beautician, has her engagement diary full. She says her schedule is choc-a-bloc with appointments for facial, pedicure, manicure, hair spa, makeup and hair dos. Along with her appointment book is a book of hair styles which include braids and buns of all sorts. The demand is for retro and classic look, so that her clients take a break from their denims and salwars and drape kantha-work saris, traditional prints and saunter stylishly in chiffons.

With Durga Puja just a week away, the festive mood is high. Besides shopping and exchanging notes on what to wear, where to eat and whom to meet, there is a lot of work at home too. “The work mostly revolves around ourselves,” giggles Divya Guha, a home maker. The celebration is all about meeting friends and having a whale of a time. Besides grooming ourselves, we have to pay attention to our house that needs to be ready to receive impromptu guests. So, I am making sure I am ready to have guests during the day and in the evening we are obviously heading to the pandals. If traffic and mood permits, a bit of pandal pandal hopping will be fun,” says Divya.

Pandal hopping sure sounds fun, but the young crowd is looking at a different sort of plan. Meet at a pandal everyday on prior planning, have fun in the evening at pandals with all the traditional food to be served in the stalls, make new friends and try and create a mini home-coming feel.

(So, are Bengalis planning to paint the town red? Photo: Akhilesh Kumar)

“Puja celebrations are big in Guwahati as well. I remember shopping for clothes meant for the last five days of puja and the chaos and traffic. In Hyderabad, thankfully the Puja shopping chaos isn’t much. I have applied for leave for the five days and plan to stay put in a resort with my family for two days and energise ourselves for late nights on the last three days. No one wants to miss the jamming session that we do on our friend’s terrace. Everyone turns Kishore Kumar and the songs roll one after the other,” says Ashustosh Majumdar a tax consultant. For some it is all fun and planning to make the most of the holidays. There are some who plan to make others’ Puja special.

Subhasish Karmakar is planning a meticulous menu for the Puja revellers. For him Durga Puja is special, as besides the religious aspect, the festival brings friends and family together. He says, “Food is integral part of the festival which connects people. The nostalgia, the childhood memories, the memories of first love, all come back when friends and family meet during these four days. I am planning a food fest at my restaurant — Nabanno with different dishes on all the days. It has to be special for all and I plan to have pulao, kosha mangsho, khichuri and labra, luchi and alur dum, golda chingri malaikari and a variety of sweets. These however are a few common dishes, there will be more.”

But what is the feeling of a good celebration without a few last minute trips to the tailor. “My clothes are still getting ready. I have bought readmade stuff but it doesn’t really feel like a festival is round the corner without getting a bit nervous on the delivery dates of clothes,” laughs Snigdha Dey, a bank employee.

So, are Bengalis planning to paint the town red? “Of course, that’s also the latest colour to sport, isn’t it,” smiles Sharmista Banerjee, a business woman.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 3:45:34 AM |

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