Sunday, October 28, 2007

Durga Pujo Isspecial -- Shubho Bijoya


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Narkel Naru & Kucho Nimki on Bijoya


Shubho Bijoya’r Priti o Shubhechcha or Greetings and Good Wishes on Bijoya

So Pujo is over and even Lakshmi Pujo is over and I am late to wish everyone Shubho Bijoya but then technically I get time till Diwali to finish my Bijoya so it is fine.





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For a short update, the Pujo was good fun with me managing to land up at the Mandap all 4 days starting Saptami (Seventh day of Navratri) with the family in tow. I even managed to drape myself in nine yards of silk on 3 of those days and the pallu stayed without pins and the pleats did not give way, no mean feat if you know me. I also queued up for Anjali and offered Anjali at 8:30 PM every evening having feasted on breakfast, lunch, snack and everything else instead of the usual fasting that should have been propah, again no mean feat if you know my Ma.

The daughter initially did not show much interest in Durga or the Durga Puja and claimed she did not much like Durga Thakur because Durga Thakur did not give her anything. I tried to get philosophical and told her it is Durga Thakur who had given her Mommy & Baba, but that did not impress her as she did not think these were creatures important enough to be actually gifted to anyone. Finally when I told her the Lego Bucket, which she incidentally had since last year, was actually brought by Durga, she got very excited and was also visibly pleased. The fact that she got a chocolate bar as Prashad from Durga Thakur clinched the deal and she became a major devotee and even offered Anjali with two flowers.

Dashami (tenth day of Navratri) was good too with Sindoor khela (married women applying Sindoor/vermillion to the Goddess and also each other) and there was some dancing at the Mandap , narkel naru (coconut laddu) and then nimki, followed by Biryani and kabab at night for dinner. I did not feel the immense sadness, guess I am getting used to real life deals.

But while discussing Pujo, memories, food etc I forgot to tell you the most important thing, the one thing I liked most about Durga Pujo since I was a little girl of six.




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Anandamela and AnandaBazaar Patrika this year


It is the Pujo Shankhya or the Annual Puja Numbers. Now Bengal being the literary state that it is, it has a very rich history of art & literature. So during Durga Pujo, the publishing houses like Ananada Publishers, Deb Sahitya Kutir etc. bring out special editions of the monthly magazines published by them.
These special editions are thick volumes with literary gems from all renowned Bengali authors. Packed with writings by the best authors, these Puja Numbers are something I and every Bengali child in their right mind would look forward to.

When I was a kid, my Ma in her effort to teach me Bangla would get me monthly subscriptions of the very popular Bengali children’s magazine Anandamela. During Durga Pujo this AnandaMela would come out in its special edition with colorful, glossy jacket and stories & articles in different flavors from all famous, almost famous, trying to get famous authors. It was the biggest treat a child could ever have.

Those days these were published and available in the market around Mahalaya and in our small town we would book our copy with the local paper wallah days in advance, in fact right after summer. So while Mahalaya meant getting up at 4 AM to listen to Birendra Krishna Bhadra, it also meant pestering the Paper wallah every day to see if the coveted book had arrived. I cannot quiet explain the excitement, the waiting, the longing for the book to arrive. Days were spent thinking what “Gogol”* might do and where “Santu”** might land up with “kakababu”**. The book would finally arrive along with My Ma’s copy of Desh or Anandabazaar patrika and many blissful hours would be spent in its magical pages.

Even now Durga Pujo for me is incomplete without Pujo Shankhya and I either buy them here or get my Ma to send them. With the Sharadiya being published way in advance these days, my ma easily finds someone to send me the copies and their arrival heralds the onset of Durga Pujo.

Along with shiuli and kashful, the Sharadiya Pujo Shankhya means Durga Pujo to me.

I do not think I will get around teaching my daughter to read Bengali or maybe I would, but if I didn't, I know she will miss out on the wait for these special editions which with their glossy jackets and mesmerizing tales carried the fragrance of Durga Pujo.

Do you have any Pujo Shankhya favorites or if you are from another Indian state do you have a similar concept of Special editions which are extremely popular ?

*Gogol -- fictional character by Samaresh Babu, another legendary author
**
Santu & kakababu -- fictional characters by Sunil Gangopadhyay, a very famous Bengali author


Some other lovely Durga Pujo posts from fellow Bloggers

Durga Pujo --- at The Shadowy Waters
Durga Pujo '06 -- at The Recurring Decimals
Ma Durga...Ashche Bochor abar Esho -- Bong working Mom
Amader Pujo -- Eves Lungs aka Mallika



(This post is shared with Desi Momz Club where the Theme for October is Traditions )

63 comments:

  1. Sandeepa....Nice post of Durga Pooja.......While I was studying in Trichy REC, There was this Bengal-Orissa group of students and every year they used to celebrate the event grandly....Used the get the huge Durga Idol from Calcutta........We loved those days...used to attend the Poojas.....Such a nice event :-)
    A great posty dear :-)

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  2. Great post, love the photo of Durga!:)
    Welcome to the US born kids' World! That's all they think of, material things unlike us Indian born kids! My kids get excited about Diwali only because they get money and firecrackers, even though I tell them why we celebrate!:P
    I used to give them presents on Christmas, but I have stopped that and do it little early for Diwali instead.
    Nope, not in my parents house. Nothing special but we did have a great time at my grandparents whenever we were there to visit!:)

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  3. Hey Sandeepa, Belated happy Bijaya-dashami. Thanks for the wishes. For me, Puja time meant school holidays and going mandap-hopping with parents :)As a kid, we used to visit my paternal village where it used to be a huge fan-fare with near and distant cousins :)

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  4. Sandeepa - Nice posting on Durga Pooja. I used to attend it every year at the Bengali Mandal in Madras. It used to be so much fun.. miss those days. You revived those wonderful days.. Thxs!!

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  5. Shubho Bijoya to you too, Sandeepa. Thats a really cute post :). I remember Aanadomela from my classmate, who used to read it even in college! She was such a fan, and from her description and now yours, i know that it must have really been special. And yes, i college i had lots of Bengali friends who would bring lovely treats like naru, patishapta and nimki :). Your post reminded of all those cute moments! Kalkaji and Chittaranjan Park used to have such lovely Pujo celebrations and grogeous pandals!

    i love the way lil' S became a Durga Thakur bhakt :).

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  6. Sandeepa, I was curious how you celebrate the Pujo here and you answered my query, always a good idea to get little ones involved in things that bring us happiness, to give Durga credit for the Lego Block is a grand idea but not a stretch if you think of it.

    Had a few of those mgazines that we religiously look forward so I can understand your happiness.

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  7. Hi Sandeepa, I am back! Wishing you shubho Bijoya to you and your family! I was back just in time to celebrate durga puja for a day.

    My experience with anandomela was identical!! My favorite was the extraordinary creative writings of Shirshendu mukhopadhyay. I haven't found anything so creative in any other language yet...and I am a voracious reader. The children's literature was sooo rich, that I wish I could translate it. When I read them ...it was the same way I would savor them as savoring the best possible food. I looooooove anandamela.

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  8. Hi Sandeepa, as usual I am leaving enlightened and touched by your colorful descriptions and childhood memories. You do have a wonderful way with words. Thanks for sharing this :)

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  9. Lovely Lovely post Sandeepa. I totally spellbound by the pic of Durga maata in ur post. miss all the fun back home dear..:(... Belated Dussehra and Advanced Diwali wishes to u n ur family dear..:)

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  10. Nice Post Sandeepa. Well my son too prays only if he gets 'something'. I think it is all innosence and they would understand it as they get older. That is my hope..that my boy would be more thoughtfull..Happy Bijoya and Diwali

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  11. :) That is a good way to put things in perspective for little S... Reading about anandamela and the other magazine reminded me of my childhood favorites.. I still sneak a peek if I ever run into one of those... :)

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  12. hey amazing post sandeepa!!!
    I know very little about the significance of dussera but you girls were amazing!!
    and it will be wonderful if our kids show the same enthu but sandeepa, its so different n difficult right!!

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  13. Sandeepa, in Andhra, we had each and every magazine worth its name bringing out Deepavali special issues - they were of the size in your picture, the covers would be painted by a renowned artist - usually a representation of the God/dess/es in various ways, and one artist, Mr V Papayya was esp. popular. There would be extra stories, stories from earlier issues, literary ones as well, a novelette (or is it novella?), poetry, general articles, several cinema ads, and above all, several cartoons, from the famous cartoonists of the day. I got to read most of them only after I grew up, about 10-15 years later, my grandmother would collect and store these religiously. And I would read them over and over, over the years.
    Then the tenor of the mags changed - and I guess those of the Diwali issues as well. I haven't explored them for a few years now, don't even know if they're around, but will do this year, thanks to your post.

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  14. shubho bijoya to u too san. love the pic of ma durga. i was waiting to know hw u celebrated durga pooja:) glad to know u had gr8 fun.

    my friend abha would read that anandamela even when she was in engg college(old editions i guess) and i wont be surprised if she is still continuing to read those books;)

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  15. Beautiful picture of Durga Ma Sandeepa. Back in Kirandul(in MP) Dusshera and Diwali was celebrated in Grand style.
    My parents use to get Chandamama-telugu comic book, I still have few books back in India at my sis's place.

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  16. i feel like i am back in delhi's chittaranjan park :D - really liked your write up - esp the bit on bargaining with kiddo to like durga thakur

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  17. Quite surprising to know your attachment with those books! and I know only one "Gogol", the one from Namesake :D

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  18. What a splendi post,and the Durga pic is awesome!

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  19. very lovely post Sandeepa, I too tell my son what all he gets when he prays to God like chocolates ect:) Durga mata's pic is so good. hey where is the recipe of those 2 goodies:)

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  20. sandeepa...is ur daughter adorable or what..i cracked up reading about her indifference towards god's gift of parents to warming up when she got the chocolates...how cute is that!!

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  21. what a lovely post. do they publish english versions of these books? both my parents could read and write bangla. unforunately, i can't.

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  22. Shubho Bijoya to you and your family too. I am finally back with my family after having been out for the entire Pujo duration. :(

    Great pics!

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  23. hi sandeepa nice photographs

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  24. The photo is awesome. The goodies are very nice. Viji

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  25. Lovely post Sandeepa.... wishing you a happy bijaya dashmi.

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  26. I do love reading your posts! I learn so much and feel all kinds of emotions as I do. I was delighted,to read about your conversations with your daughter. And I always love reading about your childhood experiences in India. Wonderful post!

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  27. Hai Sandeepa,How are U?
    Loved ur Post!

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  28. Excelent post and the pic of Kali is beautiful

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  29. Sandeepa - pujo shankhya... my dad was telling me about it reently and even narated me a couple of stories from that...
    Shubho bijoya to you and your family...
    Package peye gecchi... thank you!!! Tomaye e-mail pathalam, check koro!

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  30. hey, off topic - dont worry, Nov is taken care of..will post before day ends. thanks

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  31. The mention of anondomela made me nostalgaic...reminded me of the eternal jhogra with bhai..who is going to read it first?
    I remember ma saying, "chere de..bhai to TOR MOTON oto porte pare na..ektu chobi dekhei diye debe"...
    ;-))[leave him..he cannot read LIKE YOU..o he will jst browse through the pictures and give you back]
    used to make me feel superior , good, etc....now when I use similar sentences for A junior (A+ as well), to get things done...I know what ma did then!
    ;-)))
    Maturing...eh?

    Shubho bijoyar priti o shubhecha nio.....

    DR

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  32. Hey Sandeepa,

    Also posted a pujo pic on the blog :)

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  33. Your posts are always good-reads.

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  34. sandeepa...have tagged to for a meme...chk out my blog for details..do try to play along if you can :)..yes.. yes..even after a month it is ok ;)

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  35. wow nice post as ever Sandeepa i know i am late missed a lot !

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  36. How did I miss this post...wonderful memories there...I understand your sentiments regarding Little S...I too feel the same about R and A...remember those pujo editions.

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  37. Shubho Bijoya Sandeepa. Again the picture of the chinir narkel naru and kucho nimki are wonderfully evocative of Bijoyas past.

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  38. Lovely post!:) Kids stun us with such questions!
    Durga pooja is always fun!:)
    The picture of Devi is beautiful!:)

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  39. Hi Sandeepa,

    I've just tagged you for the Fantastic Four meme - as best I could see you have not been tagged yet.

    You were one of the first food bloggers I came across, and you have served as such an inspiration.

    This is completely voluntary, of course, so do let me know if you would prefer not to participate, or if you already had.

    More info on my foodblog, ruchi chuchu

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  40. NIMKI....ooooh. looks so good. I think I should move into your neighbourhood :) Have done my post about Pujo. So much happened in those 2 weeks that my post goes all over the place. Still, read when you can :)

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  41. Happy Belated Durgasthami and a veyr Happy Diwali to you and your family Sandeepa! I attended the durgathami celebrations at our temple here this year. It was beautiful. They had new Prattimas of Goddes Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and subramanya flown in from India. It was very beautiful, amidst the sounds of the dhaak and pooja it was ethereal! And then there was a delicious feast of khichdi, cabbage sabji and some mixed vegetable sabji etc - kind of like the ones i have seen on your blog :-) thought of u at that time :-)
    Hugs
    Latha

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  42. HAPPY DIWALI TO YOUR FAMILY AND YOU SANDEEPA!!:)

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  43. Hi Sandeepa
    HAPPY DIWALI TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!
    Very nice posting. Excellent fotos of Durga and other. I can't help myself from asking "What camera do you own? " if you don't mind me asking you.

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  44. Happy Diwali to you and family Sandeepa!

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  45. Happy diwali to you and ur family...Sandeepa.
    Looks like you are pretty busy haven't seen any new posts.

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  46. That's such a lovely post Sandeepa. Brought back so many fond memories :)

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  49. A very nice article indeed on Durga Puja. Felt quite nostalgic specially about the books that are still being published but the only fact is that we do not have enough enough time for ourselves just go through its pages...

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  60. A very nice article indeed on Durga Puja. Felt quite nostalgic specially about the books that are still being published but the only fact is that we do not have enough enough time for ourselves just go through its pages...
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