Durga Puja – 2016

This Durga puja  …. was quite a different one. Went to some old and traditional Durga pandals.

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Civil Line Durga Puja …. organised by Bengal Club !!

Last year – we ….jethu (uncle) and me ….. saw an article in the newspaper – about a Durga puja samity that is 106 years old last year.  They perform puja in a very simple and very traditional way … just like the way it was done in 1910 when it was established. I told jethu that next year (meaning this year) i’ll take him there. So this year we went to Civil Line Durga puja pandal hosted by Bengal Club at Bengali Senior Secondary School …. but getting there was a very difficult task.

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My fav. Civil Line Durga Puja …. Minimal decor yet beautiful !

What happen was – last year while talking about this Bengal Club puja – jethu most probably told me that Civil Line is near Kashmiri Gate. So this year all that i remember was Kashmiri Gate. i searched on the net for the address “Durga puja at Kashmiri Gate”. It showed – held on the ground opposite Ritz cinema hall. When we reached there. There was no puja pandal anywhere near or far … and nobody can tell anything about it. We must have roamed around for about 40 mins. Then jethu said – let’s go home … shouldn’t waste time like this and that i should have got there number so that we would have asked them about where they’re situated. Meanwhile i was praying to the Goddess to help us find the pandal …  as it would be very sad to come so far and not getting to see the puja we have come so far to see. Jethu would have been very disappointed too. On our way back we happen to stop at a traffic red light. There was a auto next to our car …. i just thought of asking the auto- wala about the puja. Luckily the person travelling in that auto knew about that place and told us that he too is going there so we can follow him. At that very moment i saw on the bus stop – the name of that area – Civil Line. It clicked instantly (too late but still) that the Bengal Club puja is held in Civil Line. Finally we reached the puja pandal and spend some peaceful time.

There decor was pretty simple yet beautiful – warm and bright …. giving a feeling of home like puja. Their Debi-er protima (goddess idol) was beautiful too … ek chala (single frame) with Daker shaj. My Maa and jethu has a similar taste regarding the “Shaj” ie. how the Debi is dressed – i too like it … the Daker shaj. This year my favorite was – the Bengal Club puja …. but jethu’s favorite was New Delhi Kali Bari puja.

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New Delhi Kali Bari …. Durga protima – ek chala (single frame) Daker shaj !

This year we went to New Delhi Kail Bari too which is on Mandir Marg. I most probably went there some 10 – 12 years ago …..  quite late at night and it was very very crowded. I remember  - we went with a group of known people – and we three girls were holding each other by our scarf that we’re wearing. Literally  we’re pulling each other out from the human crowd. Whenever i think of that incident – i never dare to go there. This year i thought – let’s just try our luck and visit the place little early in the evening. So we got there around 6 pm on Navami evening – felt good to see less crowd. Actually – no crowd – would be right to say. We stood in front of the Debi protima for almost 15 -20 mins. with ease without being push by others …. so it was quite comfortable. Visited the main Kali mandir (temple) too. Enjoyed our visit. If Maa Durga bless – we’ll go there next year too !!

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Dakhin Delhi Kali Bari Duga Puja !!

Past 2 years – we have been visiting the Dakhin Delhi Kali Bari – Durga puja …. which is in R.K. Puram – next to Malai Mandir. Dakhin Delhi Kali Bari is actually my favorite Kali Bari. It’s very quite and peaceful. It has something that i can’t describe in words – it’s true i am very emotionally attached to it. There Durga protima is always  very simple …. the same Daker shaj and minimal decor. I was wandering – why do they keep it simple – is it that they like it this way or is it lack of funds or lack of man power …. which leads to lack of creativity and enthusiasm. Whatever it is but their puja is pretty simple … well i have nothing against it too. I actually like simple things.

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Jethu sitting on the steps of Dakhin Delhi Kali Bari … this yr.

One thing they had which we all like and which was new to us too – was  the standing fans which sprayed misty water droplets – which was amazingly pleasant and refreshing. Very thoughtful of the organizer. We visited the main Kali mandir and sat at the steps for some time … watching the people enjoy their Ashtami evening !

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Matri Mandir Durga Puja …. very artistic !!

From Kali Bari – went to Matri Mandir. Every year – this mandir wins everybody’s heart with its creative decor. – Last year and the year before … we simple loved it …. but this year i and jethu were quite disappointed. The decor might seem to be very impressive. Their theme this year was France – they choose it maybe because of the terrorist attack … maybe a tribute to the lively city.

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Seems like Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie set … or maybe an Opera House !!

Actually it strike me now only that why i didn’t like it much …. maybe because it had a theme that has nothing to do with Durga puja. Last 2 puja pandals decor was on the theme on mother nature which is also Maa  Durga. They used bamboo and it’s by products  …  very colorful and lively …. gave it a natural feel to it.

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It was very colorful and lively …. see the alponaa (rangoli) in front of the protima – yr. 2014 !

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Last yr. 2015 – all made of bamboo product – very creative – colorful and lively !!

Once they has Olympic theme too – which was beautiful  but not good enough like last 2 years …. no second thought about it.  Also their ventilation process was not good …. it was quite suffocating and hot in there. We couldn’t enjoy the decor as it was very uncomfortable and uneasiness. Also it looked more like a Mughal era setting rather than France …. and pretty monotonous to look at – red and gold.  Work was good as always. It actually reminds me of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie set. Huge – bright  -  creative and detailed art work. This time it might not be my favorite or as enjoyable as last year but i hope coming year theme would be awesome and something more earthy.

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 Bangiya Samaj Durga Puja at Dwarka sect. 6 DDA Ground !!

On Shaptami – i went with Maa and Joy da (brother) and his family. Joy da’s daughter Oliva is only 4 months old, so we just went to our near by Durga puja pandal at Dwarka sector 6. We got there around 8 or 8 30 pm. Went in front of the Durga protima – folded my hands in prayer – i felt very emotional – tears were about to swell up in my eyes …. just that very moment – K.K. the famous playback singer began to sing ” Kyun aaj kal nind kam khaab ziyada hai ” …. and a smile came on my lip … life is like that only.

Maa Durga teaches us many things – one of them is – be strong and fight ! I know one has to fight for what he thinks is right and one has to stand by his  side no matter what happens. You cannot expect others to understand you. Everybody is busy thinking of their best interest. I have learnt from life one thing and that too the very hard way …. if you’re giving something to others – you are wanted !! We human being are very selfish by nature …. getting depressed or too philosophical ???  - well let’s leave it there.

My prayer to Maa Durga – give me strength – good health and happiness …. and to everybody around me and my family – to my friends and foesas well. Sometime things are better that way …. Live and let others live – but if others interfere … stay way from them.

” Ashche Bochhor abar hobe ” with that hope and happiness  i wait for YOU to come again  next year !!

  • http://nadiamasood.com nadia

    It’s obvious how much team work and dedication have gone into organizing all these events. The designs are so intricate!

  • http://www.sharmila.co.in/ admin

    Thanks Nadia … it’s true a lot of team work and dedication …. above all huge amount of money is spend to set up these pandals. The ones i visited were simple (except Matri Mandir) …. others esp in Kolkata – they spend a lot. i some how feel sad about spending so much of money …. and it’s not doing any good to any human being …. except that some people are getting job for few weeks.