Now that Durga Pujo is only a week away, writing about anything else would be pure blasphemy according to me. Although the excitement, the frenzy, the happiness, the fun and frolic that surround the four days of Pujo are incomparable, but the build-up to Pujo is equally enticing.
The constant counting of days left to the Pujo from about a hundred days earlier, to the various plans for meet-ups that people start making from days in advance from Behala to Belgachia or from Sealdah to Singapore, are probably exclusive to Kolkata Durga Pujo. The showcasing of various Puja Pandals on various TV channels, and the mad rush to get hold of VIP passes from anywhere and everywhere only add to the flavour.
But what tops all of the mayhem is shopping for the Pujas. No matter how well prepared one is, there is always a last minute buy - that matching clutch, the perfect sneakers, that black tee, blue leggings, or a white shirt, a silk embroidered udhni, a pair of jhumkas that would go perfectly with your green churidaar. The constant bargaining, on the foot –paths of Gariahat and New Market, the “check the market” plans, and then returning back to the same shop is a spectacle to watch.
Then there are folks like me who wait for the last week to buy stuff - only to sweep empty stores, feel dejected after finding nothing that personifies happiness, and embark on that never-happening Durga Pujo resolution of starting to shop early from the next (?!) year.
However, amidst all of this buzz, the sweetest thing is probably the abundance of everything.
The flamboyant and the spendthrift together rejoice in this feeling of abundance - not only of things material, but also the emotional.
The city brims with life, with joy, with happiness, with ecstasy, with plenty... and in the words of Dominique Lapierre truly metamorphoses into the city of joy.
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