Friday, 5 November, 2010

Kali Pujo and Diwali Greetings...

It must be early evening in India now. It is Kali Pujo in Kolkata today and in North India choti diwali. If you want to know more about these festivals, check out here. Houses would be decorated with diyas and candles, the enthusiastic must have started with the fire crackers. Early evening  is the time of the kids and the crackers are mostly kiddish like phool jhuri.  As the evening progresses adults emerge with their stock of rockets and tubris. Some over enthusiastic people even make their own crackers.The sound of crackers become deafening and the air is thick with acid smell. Sometimes a tubri goes upto three stories, people would rush to their windows to watch the spectacle, the rockets would up in the sky and create their own magic.

The homes look bright and beautiful with all those fairy lights and the aromas of rich food waft around, Bengali households are also stocking up for Bhaiphota/Bhai Duj just two days away, so malpoas and narkol narus (home made sweets) are being prepared in earnest.  The kids are usually super excited because of the crackers, also they get to wear last of the new pujo clothes, carefully preserved for this last day of festivities. The elders are watching the kali pujo porikroma  (visiting the various pandals) on television, while some of the pious Bengalis fast till midnight for the kali pujo, while some other worship laskmi and ganesh for prosperity. The pujo pandals are all lighted up, each competing with the other to make their kali protima look as grotesque and fearsome as possible.  After a hectic day of business, the markets close down, the shopkeepers leave discussing how good the business was compared to last year.

For the non Bengalis this day is a runner up for diwali, so it is equally exciting.

Here is wishing you a great kali pujo and diwali.
In the words of my friend Anu  "As much as we enjoy the fireworks, let's also keep in mind the child labour, environmental damage, petrified animals and the amount of money that is blown up into smoke in the process. Let us celebrate Diwali in it's true essence and put away our insensitivities, and teach our children the real meaning of this festival of lights. Happy Diwali."  

My sentiments exactly, could not agree more with her, nor could I put it in better words. Have a safe and happy celebration!

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