Remembering dadu’s freshly ironed dhoti and voice waking me up,
Remembering dida in her new sari going cleaning the house, preparing for pujo and urging us to take a bath early in the morning,
Remembering the sound of all India radio echoing through the walls of the house in CA-32,
Remembering the excited faces as we realised Durga Pujo is here.
Remembering the smell of freshly grated coconut being prepped for making sweets,
Remembering the happiness that filled our tiny hearts as pujo dresses were bought and gifts exchanged..
Mahalaya in a close knit family with many doting grandparents and uncles and aunts was definitely a grand affair for a child of ten years of age.
Every year my eyes filled with wonder as pujo dawned closer, I waited for a close glimpse of the family idol and the beginning of the series of festivities,
Pujo holidays meant hopping onto a train or catching a flight to reach Calcutta,
Seeing the city decked up in lights was special,
But seeing the familiar faces lit with smiles even more special and the best homecoming feeling ever…
Now that the people are not there anymore, I celebrate in my own way,
But the essence of family,culture,traditions and the joy is still wrapped in deep memories in my mind….
I listen to the radio or youtube version of Birendra Bhadra and close my eyes thinking and praying that every negativity from me is wiped out with Durga ma’s power.I realise some voices can transport us to the years gone back and evoke strong memories of loved ones, I smile and also realise nothing in life is permanent, this is a phase of life.