Durga pujo. The festival all bongs wait for eagerly for the entire year.

You can feel the excitement in the air almost a month before the pujo. The air itself feels different, even smells different! We wake up early in the morning one week prior to the pujo (which we most probably never do willingly at any other time of the year) and listen to mahalaya. New clothes might not excite us that much at any other time, but shopping for the festival gives clothes a whole new meaning and sentiment. The smell of dhoop, the sound of dhaak, the pandits in dhuti chanting the mesmerising mantras to welcome goddess Durga… Even the mention of these things is enough to make us nostalgic. Yes, Durga Pujo holds a big place in our hearts and lives.

And it is finally here. The year long wait is over. Tomorrow is shoshti, the first day of pujo, and every bong is practically purring with delight. Puja is the most important event of our lives. And it has arrived. The time of pandal hopping, dhunuchi naach, the sound of dhaak is here.

But it is not so for all of us. Some of my fellow bongs are still attending lectures, submitting projects or manning their desks at work. Guys, I know how you are feeling. No one can understand the pain of a bong who is not able to be at home during the pujo, except another bong. I have been through it, and I know exactly how it feels. I could not go home last year for the pujas and I was perfectly miserable. No bong should be deprived of the pujo pleasures. It is an indescribably cruel thing to do! 🙁

But guys, please don’t lose hope. Whip up a tasty bhapa ilish curry or listen to the mahalaya chant or find out if any pandal is put up anywhere near you. Maybe you cannot enjoy the pujo with your family members, but you can still enjoy it. Just make an effort and you will surely find a way how to! Happy Durga Pujo to all of you! 🙂

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