#SkywatchFriday – 26

Hello friends!

How have you all been? It has been just a week but seems to me a very long time as I have been away from active blogging all this while and I’m missing it. There wasn’t much I could do about it because sometimes, life takes precedence and that is okay too! Autumn skies are very beautiful in the eastern Indian state of Bengal. In the south of the country, where I’m presently based, the sky brings in plenty of rain and some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It might have been a dull grey cloudy sky if not for the streak of sunshine spreading across to make it a dramatic one. I watched another beautiful day unfold right before my eyes and felt a silent prayer rising within me, thankful for the sight.

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I’ve been very busy this past week, as we celebrated Durga Puja, the biggest festival mostly for the Bengali community, although many in North and East India also follow it. But for the Bengalis, Durga Puja is that time of the year when they long to go back to their roots and their traditions to be part of the five-day festivities.

The dates for the festival are decided by the almanac and this year luckily two of the five main days fell on a weekend, which meant most people could join in, without having to take leave from work, which was a big relief for many! Thanks to the good weather, there were no rains to act spoilsport as the ladies donned their best silks and crisp cottons and the men dressed in smart block-printed kurtas and little girls and boys a little too conscious of their new attires, as they joined in the festive mood and enjoyed being part of the milieu. The festival days flew by in a jiffy! The mornings and the evenings were completely dedicated to enjoying the sounds of the “dhaak and the “dhol” and offering flowers at the feet of the deity for “pushpanjali” amid the chanting of the mantras, to be followed by visiting other pandals in the other parts of the city (‘pandal-hopping’.)

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There were almost 35 pandals in Bangalore this year and that gives everyone an idea about how widely it is celebrated here. In the afternoons all devotees were provided free lunch in all the pandals. This comprised of a traditional “bhog“, that included khichdi, a medley of vegetables called “labda“, chutney made of ripe tomatoes and “payesh” (kheer). In the evenings, it was an amazing experience to watch the “arati” by the priest. With the camphor wafting in the air as the men and women did the “dhunuchi“dance, one was reminded of one’s childhood and the feverish excitement of the puja days in the years gone by. It was as if, stirred by the sights, sounds and the drum beats one was transported to another world. On most evenings there were cultural programmes, comprising of skits, classical dance performances, songs, often including local and outstation performers to entertain the public.

As all good things must come to an end, so did those magical days of the puja. But, not without leaving us happier, albeit a little mellow; recharged and rejuvenated nonetheless.

As my twelve-year-old enjoys his last few days of the vacation, reading story books and getting ready for another busy term, I am hopeful I will be able to bring in some much-needed changes to my writing and life, in general.

That’s all from  my end. I’d love to hear about you and what has been keeping you busy over the week. As another weekend approaches, I’m sure you all are looking forward to something different or perhaps, something special. Do share your thoughts in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you. See you again soon!🙂

(Linking this with #Skywatch Friday, where sky watchers post beautiful sky shots from different parts of the world.)

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14 thoughts

  1. Hi Esha, I enjoy this time of the year a lot too! Pujo is something I love being a part of, I love the frenzy and the beauty of it! I am glad more and more people from diverse cultures have started falling in love with the festivities and gaiety of it. And as usual, I am starstruck by your lovely captures!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kala! Glad to hear that you too enjoy this festival. It can be crazy at times but that’s the fun of it. Yes, you’re right, nowadays more and more people from diverse cultures are becoming a part of it and it is heartening to see that. Sharing adds to the fun, doesn’t it?

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  2. Loved to read about how things are at your end. That sky is just gorgeous. We are under the same sky but what you see, I don’t 🙂

    Yes, the Pooja time was good. VT and I stepped out and pandals and food were our top picks. I haven’t been writing much but I will get back. I’m just being slow and a little lazy. Going home and excited for the next two weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Parul. Good to hear about your puja visits too. Yes, the food is very inviting, isn’t it? I wait the whole year for these three days of puja fun and it always get over before I’ve had my fill 😀 Wonderful to know you’re planning to visit home. I wish you a fantastic time…have fun and enjoy getting pampered by family. Blogging can wait for now! 🙂

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    1. Thanks you so much, Corinne. Its always great to hear from you! Yes, all that fun and food has done me so much good, I can’t tell you 😀 Thanks again for your kind wishes. Hope things are fine at your end too!

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  3. Hey, Esha. Good to know that you had a great past week. We keralites celebrate Puja too, but for us, it is more of a softer celebration, where we keep our books and equipments before the Goddess so that they are blessed with Her prosperous showers. I have heard a lot about the Pandal hopping and could see my timelines flooding with beautiful photographs of the same.
    I have had a good week too and I end up returning to blogging after long because of the same. Hope to see you around more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by at Soul Talk, Maliny. It’s always great to connect with you 🙂 I’ve heard about your celebration too as I have a neighbour who has been doing the same and telling me all about it. Ours is a little more of a social thing and I become like a kid all excited at the mention of Durga Puja every year. I’ve yet to put up my pics from the pandal hopping but it was so wonderful to see the decorations and enjoy the festival even though miles away from my hometown. Now, Bangalore is home to me 🙂 So, you too had a writing break, I see?! Would be lovely to get back into the groove and start posting again. Always a pleasure to read your posts, Maliny. They’re very good!

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  4. You have enjoyed the Puja so well… loved your version of it.. we too travelled the whole week, visiting relatives and enjoyed the festivals with near and dear ones.. now that all is over, it’s difficult to return to daily routine…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I know what you mean about returning to routine. Same here. But, I’m glad everyone enjoyed the break doing what they really wanted. Now, recharged for a fresh start beginning tomorrow. Have a great week ahead Pratikshya 🙂

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