REFLECTIONS OF A FESTIVE MIND

While everybody is busy immersing themselves in the slokas of Birendra Krishna Bhadra, I happen to be planning about editing my assignments and submitting them on time. For the last 15 years Pujo has been an essential part of my life. Every year, whether it be in school or in college Pujo for me used to start a month earlier than it was actually scheduled to take place. Right from going to Pujo shopping with my mother and excitedly discussing what my friends and I bought and from where to which place had great outfits in reasonable price or which brand was giving heavy discounts, none of these talks ever evaded us in Kolkata. 

All three years of my college life, there was a specific date reserved for lunch with my school friends. Ashtami was always earmarked for the yearly get together of a crazy trio (including me). 
In fact as the days of the Pujo came nearer, news always reached me which pandal was being made of what and we started planning with our friends to visit those pandals. One day was of course reserved for pandal hopping with my family.

Instant plans were also made when we were out of plans.I still remember a friend (as adventurous as me) calling me up in the morning saying that there is still one day of the pujo left and we had no plans. So it was decided we cant let this happen and met in an hour to enjoy the one day left before bhashaan.


Residing in an area which is the hotspot of Durga Puja in South Calcutta it is impossible to not miss it. In Bengali people say ‘Ashche Bochor Abar Hobe‘ to reiterate that there would be double the fun next year. But I would say ‘Ashche Bochor Hotei Hobe‘ to console myself by saying that next year I will have to make it for the Pujas. 

Here in Manchester there are a few places that host Pujas. But I would call it a silent festival as there are no Dhaakis to announce the onset of the Festival; there are no children playing the drums constantly near your ears; babies in the laps of their parents do not take to the blowing whistles , the noise of which starts blowing your mind after a certain while; there are no colourful balloons in the air and neither are there bubbles reflecting the colourful environment.Hardly do even a hundred people gather around for the celebrations.

But nevertheless, probably it would turn out that staying away from home and the festival for a year will make me enjoy it in a grand scale next year. So, I leave you guys with best wishes for this Pujo and a very advance Subho Bijoya . Hope you guys enjoy this year and some of you are kind enough to send some photographs (Wink). The photographs used in this post are from my archives of previous year’s Pujo. 





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30 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin Wagar says:

    Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. I hope you get to experience this great festival at home next year!

    Like

  2. Vyjay Rao says:

    Pujo is such a vibrant and colourful event, and being able to immerse oneself in the festivities in Kolkata is indeed a great experience. Though now we have Pujo pandals in the major cities of India, the experience in Kolkata is on a different level altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you. Its like having Ganeshutsav everywhere in India but the essence is still felt in Maharashtra. 🙂

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  3. Mary Charie says:

    Ah, this festival looks truly interesting! I hope I get to India soon.! Cross fingers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I hope you come soon too. Im sure you will like it there. 🙂

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  4. Indrani says:

    Thanks for the Pujo greetings!
    I can imagine how much you must be missing home now!
    Study well now, pujo will come again… like they say aaschhe bochhor aabaar hobe!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I agree. Sad part is my course is finished and Im just staying on behind for a few days cause I didnt get tickets. Im sad that I couldnt attend Pujo but happy that I have got sometime at hand to explore the UK. 🙂

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  5. Chandi says:

    Hi, I had only heard of it as Puja but I gathered from your post that it is also referred to as Pujo. I recall that festival when I spent 6 months in India back in the 80s. So many bright colorful festivals in that country!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Puja and Pujo are the same. I hope you enjoyed your stay in India and liked the festival. Though today, I think it has changed a lot.

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  6. Adam Wright says:

    You learn something new everyday! Thanks for the post

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chris says:

    So is Pujo a festival or a place, and is a Puja a celebration of the event?

    I read over it a couple of times, but think I’m still a little unsure!

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pujo and Puja are terms used interchangeably for the same festival. Its an event which happens for five days in India. Mostly all over but maximum concentration is in the state of West Bengal.

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  8. I love attending festivals around the world. They really give you a sense of place. Thx for sharing.

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  9. Tamz says:

    I just moved from Kolkata to Bangalore just a couple of days before Pujo and I cannot imagine how much I am going to miss Pujo. This is something we Bengalis wait for whole year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand your feelings having moved to Manchester myself a couple of days before the Pujo last year. Im not saying there arnt Pujos in other parts of India or the world but the feeling and the festive aura is not the same.

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  10. Has never heard of Pujo. Sounds interesting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It is very interesting.

      Like

  11. Marta says:

    It’s fascinating! I’ve never been to India, but it’s on my bucket list… Pujo is yet another reason to travel there…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you do come there and partake in the festivities. You would surely like it.

      Like

  12. jennifer L says:

    Oh how exciting! I’d never heard of Pujo so I’m so happy to get a snippet of this great festival.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its a huge festival. In fact, as I right about it all my friends are returning to Kolkata to join in the fun. 🙂

      Like

  13. Dreammerin says:

    Wow!! Such an unique and interesting topic! These all photos are great! I didn’t know nothing about it until now. Thanks for sharing those photographs with us! ❤ Have a wonderful Sunday!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome. Glad you liked it. You have a great day too. 🙂

      Like

  14. I have always loved this festival! Indian culture is indeed wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. thetravelpockets says:

    What an interesting culture! Had no idea what Pujo was until now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, its a five days of non stop festivities and one of the biggest festivals in India.

      Like

  16. Empire says:

    I’ve never heard of Pujo.
    You seem like quite an adventurous person, people need a person like you for a friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well , Pujo is one of the main festivals of Kolkata, West Bengal in India where I come from. Even in the UK and US, Indian communities organise this in whatever best way they can.

      Like

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