Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

Durga Pujo & Nostalgia

Good morning guys,
How are you all? Delhi has woken up to a glorious day. It feels just like pujo (Durga pujo) time. Today the sky is a vivid blue and white fluffy clouds floating about. This kind of sky reminds me so much of pujo I cannot tell you. It is like pujo is in the air. Today is not a day to sit in office and pretend to work. Today is a day to go out pujo shopping.
I am sure pujo shopping must have started in Kolkata. Since pujo is early this year, soon the bamboos will arrive, blocking half the roads. But mostly Kolkatans do not complain when these bamboos arrive, because they are the harbinger of pujo. Soon work is going to start on the structures of the pandals. Markets are going to overflow and shops would be open till late night and all of Kolkata would be in the maddening grip of Durga pujo fever. Pujo music will hit the charts, RJs would talk about pujo all the time and on the whole Bengalis would be in better, happier moods. And this is not going to be restricted to Bengalis in Bengal. Where ever we are, whoever we have become pujo something which brings out all our nostalgia full force.
I am not much good at remembering lyrics, but have been humming this since morning and would like to share a line of one of my favourite rabindrasangeet.
Aaj ee sarat o tapan ee prabhat o swapon ee ki jani porano ki je chaye...
(Very loosely and rubbishly translated today in this autumn morning dont know what my heart wants...) It is no easy task translating Rabindranath Tagore, and I know I did a horrible job. I am sure a little search on the net would have produced a better translation, but by then my mood would have vanished. So please bear with me.
Also you know this song is very dear to me because this song has a long association with me, or rather my family. My mother told me once that while listening to this song with my grandfather (father's father) he got very sad. So she had asked him and he said that just before his father had passed away at the age of forty two he had asked my grandfather to sing him a song and my then sixteen year old grandfather had sang this song. So whenever I see a glorious autumn day I remember this song and then I feel sad thinking about the sixteen year old who was singing this for his father one last time.


  1. Greetings from the newest reader of your blog.

    Talking of pre-Durga Pujo, Mahalaya deserves a special mention. Akashbaani Kolkata, Studio r ghori te ekhon 4 te beje 5 second in a sober, baritone male voice and we know we are in Debi pokkho.

    A slight shiver in the morning air, the pre-dawn, Birendrakrishna Bhadra's chants, Bajlo tomar alor benu, slight goosebumps at the minor chords of Bhairabi - all of these together insinuate a high emotional experience. Only a true Bong can possibly understand what I mean. It is so much a part of being a Bangali.

    P.S. please allow me a slight correction in the lyrics - ki jani porano ki je chaye

  2. yes sapphire ( are you really a stone?...ur id has an air of mystery to it which is quiet alluring) i was thinking today only that what i wrote about pujo was not adepuate....i mostly write on a wave and hardly ever edit or revise know my effort to catch a thought and pen it down...but what i wrote about pujo hardly is adepuate for the non bongs/non i should write a lil intro on what pujo is all about....with ur permission can i add ur bit on mahalaya from this comment?
    n.b. thanks for reading me. i feel very gratified whenever someone does, cos to me i write utter nonsense and dont even do a spell check which i long...

  3. thanks for the the way, do you have any translation of this song or any other rabindrasangeet or know of any site from where i may get them? my friend muthu gets very frustrated whenever i put up these half baked stuff...

  4. Suchi.....a truly nostalgic piece. Read it again today thinking of my ajja (paternal grandfather); its his death anniversary today. Remember what I had said about writers being you in another time space body and soul.....well I reiterate it. I wonder if it was mere coincidence that you wrote about your grandfather at this time......
    And Suchi I am not frustrated with your translation, I am frustrated when I cannot understand the gist of the words in the language of origin

  5. well may your grand dad's soul rest in peace, if he has not already been reincarnated. by the way do u believe in reincarnation? i like the concept cos it seems to have immense possiblities...what say? :)
    yes mummy got ur point, but the point is since i am putting these up, so i have the responsibility to see to it that things get properly communicated....somehow could never remember poems/songs unlike my mother who can chant off almost anything, even stuff she had read way back in class 2/3....didnt get that talent at all....

  6. You are welcome! Please use the text on Mahalaya in your Pujo description, my words hardly find a good use anywhere :-D

    The only worthwhile translation of Rabindranath's poems I could quickly find is here

    Yes, sapphire has a mystic air about it. There is a Byomkesh story called Raktamukhi Neela... have you read it? I relate to sapphire at many levels. It is my birthstone, I don't care about astrology though ... and it has got something to do with my sunsign also ... and it is my favourite color ... and i dream about it ... one of such dreams is described here. But all that apart, it is my name really, though in a different language.


  7. hey thanks for the link, will go through it when i have some time... well i never read bomkesh...but bulldozed my grandfather to tell me the stories...he was an amazing story teller and introduced me to bomkesh, sherlock holmes, and so many more i dont even remember...everyday after i came back from school, he, ma and me would have lunch togather and then while ma went to take her nap, warning me not to disturb dadu which of course i did, my grandfather would tell me stories...
    ok so u r under the influence of sapphires :) i have already read about your dream and commented on it, in your blog...

  8. Suchi.....most people of our parents generation and before are really good at remembering stuff.....I am like you. Can't remember much.....but what I do remember is the emotion I felt while reading the story/poem.....

  9. v true exactly like u...thank god u said that...we go beyond the mundane and remember the isnt that lovely? next time ma laughs at my poor memory can give her back this...:)


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