Monday, 14 April, 2008

পয়লা বৈশাখ/ নববর্ষ

Poila Boishakh (Bengali: পহেলা বৈশাখ Pôhela Boishakh or পয়লা বৈশাখ Pôela Boishakh) is the first day of the Bangla Calendar. Poila Boishakh is also known as Nôbobôrsho (নববর্ষ), or Bengali New Year, as it is the first day of the first month of Boishakh in the Bengali calendar. This day is a very festive time for Bengalis. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pohela_Baishakh)
today is the bengali new year -- 'poila baishak' . today according to the bengali traditional hindu calender we start the year 1415.
am in a rather nostalgic mood. today is a usual working day for me. but my heart is elsewhere. i wish i could be home with my parents and brother and all other near and dear ones. but alas i am all grown up now and have to sit on my desk and at least pretend to work. ok musings later. let me give a quick rundown on how as a kid i remember poila boishak being celebrated at home.
i remember the first thing that my parents used to say was that "today no fights, no tantrums, no sulks, cos if you behave badly today, you have to spend the rest of the year doing that only".
it was such a foolish idea yet we used to follow it so diligently, on 'poila baishak' we used to pray to god, drink milk like good children and be nice and behave properly.
i remember getting up early in excitement cos poila baishak was one occassion when we used to get new clothes apart from durga pujo. there used to be a pujo at home, then go touch the feet of all elders. ma generally used to cook some delicacy or the other like 'polao' (traditional bengali sweet rice) and 'kosha mangsho' (mutton) or 'rui macher kalia' (rohu fish curry) and of course some kind of desert like 'payas'.
in the evenings we used to go to the 'choroker mela' ( spring fair) which is held generally every year at this time. now choroker mela was a very interesting event. my brother and i, we loved going there cos dad always used to pamper us no end there. i remember buying handfull of glass bangles, terracotta toys, my brother used to go for musical instruments which make an awful lot of noise. usually some cousins allways used to accompany us. oh what a lovely time we had getting on those merry-go-rounds, eating 'telebhaja' (pakodas).
then we used to go visit some relatives or freinds and have nice dinner either there or at home.
before long poila baishak used to be over. i remember that as a kid before going to bed we used to do a check whether we have been on our perfect behaviour or not. otherwise there was a danger that whatever wrong we had done would get repeated throughout the year.
poila boishak always used to be the harbinger of mangoes. the mangoes before poila baishak never taste as good as those which come after the new year. that was another eeason why we used to wait for poila baishak with so much excitement.
now we are all grown up, busy in our lives, now we remember poila baishak when someone reminds us. then to commemorate the day we go to some fancy resturant for lunch or dinner. but somehow the innocence and the fun of those days can never be recaptured.
in words of rabindranath
'purano shey diner kotha
bhulbi kire hai'
(how can you forget those old days)
i am sure there is a better and a proper translation of this song, but right now i am in a writing mood and cant be bothered with translations.
inconvinience if any is deeply regretted.
maybe i would never spend poila baishak like i used to spend it in my childhood. but the memory would always be there with me.

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