Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shubho Bijoya'r Priti o Shubhechcha

Bijoya Greetings to all my Readers

Durga Pujo in our area

So there Durga Pujo is over and this is how we wish each other on Bijoya Dashami, the tenth day of Durga Pujo, the day the Goddess supposedly returns to her abode in Kailash. To accommodate the laid back Bongs, Bijoya is not restricted to one day alone. You get time till Kali Puja to wish your fellow bongs "Shubho Bijoya".

In the US, Ma Durga does not go home, she just goes back to the basement until next year. So we are not allowed to put sindoor on her, instead there is an alias, the Ghot

The day of Bijoya Dashami, you bid adieu to Ma Durga, offering her sweets and sindoor after the symbolic Bisarjan is over. The mere mortals, mostly women, are allowed to touch the Goddess's idol on this day to shower their love & respect and they do so with full enthusiasm. Married women smear sindoor on Ma Durga's forehead as well as on each other's and it becomes a mini Holi with only red color.
Strangely though our highest respect is for the female power, Shakti, women play only menial roles during the actual 5 days of Pujo. I have never seen a female priestess doing arati or the actual puja ceremony, women are mostly on the periphery. The only day they are allowed to touch the Goddess is after the Bisarjan on Dashami.

No pandal hopping, one is enough

Back home from the mandap you touch your elder's feet, embrace your peers, bless the little ones and then do what Bengalis love most. Eat. You eat sweets and nimkis and naru's, you eat more to forget the sorrow of Durga's as well as your vacation being over. But then you can't just restrict it to one day, can you ? No. So you apply for a few more days of leave and then each of those days morning and evening you set out to pay respect to all your elderly relatives in town. Maybe you have no contact with them throughout the year but You must do Bijoya so you hail a taxi and go. But before that you make a chart maybe be an excel sheet, you order relatives by their cooking skills and start by visiting the ones whose naru's have achieved world fame, saving the ones with hard naru's and watery ghugni's for the last.

Ma Durga, we had a lovely Pujo. Big Sis S thoroughly enjoyed herself. Baby A was not at her best but that's ok. The bhog was good, the weather on Nabami bad.The red in my hair from sindoor khela is still there, I need to shampoo better. Come back next year, till then have a blast.

By the time your palate abhors any more Naru or nimki it is almost Kali Pujo, officially Bijoya is over, the last relative in your list may as well throw the hardened naru to hit you hard.Now is the time to bit adieu, to wrap up all your festive spirit and revel in the luxury that at last Pujo is over. But wait, isn't Pujo coming again, yeah next year, asche bochor abar hobey.

More Pujo Reads:

Narkel Naru for Durga Pujo

2007 Durga Pujo

2007 Shubho Bijoya


  1. That is really cool the way u guys celebrate back home, well another way 2 pay respect to others (at least once in year by visiting them). After the festiv everyone should go on diet :) Seems u had a wonderful blast!

  2. Shubho Bijoya to you too!! Its nice to read how different people celebrate the dusserah/navratri. My last post is about Navratri in South India.

  3. Beautifully written Sandeepa. I am so impatient when it comes writing down about traditions and details. :-)
    Dugga basement e banish hoye jaan? Ki obostha!
    Oh ... but the ladies are involved in the whole process of puja from the wings ... decorations, arrangement, bhog, lighting diyas .. etc etc. But yes ... no mantra or direct involvement.
    Amar khub nimki bananor icche korche dudin dhore ... keo khawar nei tai banacchi na. :-(
    Aha ... nimki are narkel naru ... bliss! :-)

  4. "Strangely though our highest respect is for the female power, Shakti, women play only menial roles during the actual 5 days of Pujo." - very telling, and visible in most other aspects of life.

  5. I loved reading this post. Actually i learned a lot from it too.
    Shubho Bijoya to you and family.

  6. Shobho Bijoya to you and your family Sandeepa..
    post ta pore khob bhalo laglo :)..
    hugs and smiles

  7. Sandeepa,
    Nicely written. Felt sorry hearing that the same idol recycled every year, that's really bad. The sindur smearing is one of my favorite things during the puja.
    Am having a feast with narkel naru all the time, just enjoying the Bijoya days, do let us know about any special items you prepared for bijoya

  8. Shubho Bijoya Sandeepa. One of my fav online bongs :)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Sudeshna

    It is NOT BAD. Why should it be bad ? It is going green :)

    Don't we use the same idols at home and temples year-after-year

  11. Looks beautiful, San! Glad you had a lovely Bijoya with nice sweets at home and celebration in that lovely place. Do you know about/go to Ananda Mandir in Somerset? One of my Bong friends was so thrilled when I mentioned that. Hence the mention here :)

  12. Vani

    I did go to Ananda Mandir a couple of times but not for this Pujo. How do you know ? I thought you were in the North ?

  13. wow..thats a beautiful post Sandy..loved reading it!...

  14. shubho bijoya to you too!! I like your analysis of how we decide who to visit first!!
    unfortunately, in my family, we have to visit the eldest first and then the next oldest etc till the last! Which often does not match culinary skills!!

  15. I used to live in Somerset and work in Piscataway. Currently about 25 minutes away. Not too far up north.

  16. Roshni

    Maybe you didn't get it, that was meant to be a *joke*

  17. Hi Sandeepa, Nice pics of Goddess Durga. Reminds me of Kolkata and all those pandals!! Wish you and your family belated Dusshera!

  18. i have never been to Kolkata but when i do, it will be during Duga Puja, that's for sure!

  19. Shubho Bijoya to you and your Family. Maa Durga's Protima is very beautiful and your post too is very good.

  20. Really like reading your posts. Your recipes are wonderful but the stories you weave around them make them extra special. We too are bengalis though neither me nor my husband have ever really lived in Kolkata. My memories are only of going back to my grandparents house every year. But somehow I do identify with a lot of your stories. Do keep is a pleasure to read your blog.

  21. Shubho Bijoya Sandeepa. I loved this piece, and even the one before that. So true, humorous, honest and hard-hitting!
    My wishes to your entire family.

  22. yes, I guess I didn't get it! :)

  23. Hello Sandeepa! Hope you had a blessed and beautiful Bijoya! How are the lil' ones doing?


  24. Shubho Bijoya - Glad you enjoyed the Goddess's visit!


  25. we have to wait till next year!

  26. Shubho Bijoya'r Shubhechcha tomader puro poribarer jonyo. khub bhalo likhecho.

  27. wonderful pics...great space u have here..

  28. Hi,

    Even though it is a little late to comment on this post- but isn;t this the bharat sevasram pujo in Kendall park, NJ?

    I go there every year :-)


Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.