Of Durga Puja and creepy tabloids

Ma Durga looked a wee bit anxious when we went along to pay her a visit last evening. She had only arrived in a grand palanquin when the newspapers started brimming with strange tabloids.

A puja has been scrapped this year. Another is to follow suit the next. The pandals – parks, per se – have apparently grown too fancy and their people too environment-conscious to afford a homecoming party. One of these parks for instance, has been converted into an ornamental garden, replete with musical waterfalls and fountains that pour wine. And to deck such a beauty up in an ugly tent and have a section in it for eateries and hawkers is too much to digest. The people in that area have complained of rowdy behaviour and brawls that accompany Puja every year. Such an eyesore, I tell you.

Moreover, it seems, people are no longer simple enough to trust divine powers for personal security. The gold chains and zardosi saris and diamond bangles all demand stringent security delivered by men in black uniforms. Providing such Prime Minister level security to a multitude of puja pandals is no longer a feasibility.

I wonder where such good sense disappears when we drive down to the house in the next block, one hundredth of a kilometer away. Who accounts for the pollution that we add to every day, day after day? I can vouch for the fact that a conscious restraint on our polluting abilities – when done on a daily basis – can render a few days dirtying-of-a-park insignificant. Also, there is no dearth of waste paper baskets anywhere. Nor is there any dearth of cleaning agents in today’s scientific arena.

Actually, there is abundant reason that proves beyond doubt Shiva’s omniscience. He has always known the machinations of Earth but, considering this is his spouse’s maiden home, has never stopped her from visiting. In fact, there is no way the dust and grime of our cities can ever hold a candle to the beautiful serenity of the Kailash. Every year, the Goddess tries her best to bless her people and give them good sense. The few days of Durga Puja and Navratri, the people even pledge goodness. I will take care of my family. I will be good to my colleagues. I will do one noble deed every day. So on and so forth. But when the fragrant agarbatti dies and the dhol of the dhaaki subsides, our sensibilities are back where they belong.

As I said hello to the divine family of five and scowled at the evil Mahishasur, I wondered if the pandal would be bright with life the next year round. “Care for some bhelpuri?” Mom cut into my thoughts. And I dug into thoughts more delicious than these.


19 thoughts on “Of Durga Puja and creepy tabloids

  1. Pingback: When Pujo Is Just a Month Away | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  2. I am a little confude with the names but it’s a fun read nevertheless.

    I really agree with your third paragraph…the Divine can no longer be our security. It is mostly because of less people believe in God (or Gods in your religion)

  3. A thoughtful post……

    the most irritating thing is the high volume filmi tunes devotional songs that creats so much of noise polution and serves no purpose……

  4. Bhel Puri cut into my thoughts too 😛
    Here in Hyd, the metro corp has been running competitions for those who celebrate the festivals in an eco-friendly way and with concern for the traditional sensibilities. Must say this has brought some respite.

    • That’s interesting Swaram. Eco friendly pandals were a rage in Delhi too this season. Cheers to the new Green revolution! 😀
      As for bhelpuri… there is something about it which seems to cut into everyone’s thoughts. 😀

  5. Today’s festival celebrations are too pretentious to be of any use to me. I’m content with a pooja at home, praying for good things and having prasad handmade by Grandma.
    Better than having all the diamond-bangled debauchery shoved in your face…

    As usual, loved the way you’ve written this:)

    • Nothing like Granny’s prasad. For sure. 🙂 So much in life is pretentious these days that it’s hard to pick one from the other. This is another reason why I too prefer my festivals domesticated.
      Glad you liked the piece PV! 😀

  6. Hmmmm bhel puri now the last.line kinda cut into the thoughts I had while reading.the post.. Now I need to visit a pandal or garden to droll on bhel puri.

    Festivals are funny now adays I dont think it means as much as they used to.. Too much show pomp etc… By the the garden you described with a wine fountain. Where is that 🙂

    • Bhel puri is delicious. I have to agree on that Bikram. In fact your comment makes me crave for some more right now. 😀
      Yes, the pomp and show has certainly gone up. But that’s no wonder, considering that’s the way sensibilities seem to be in our time.
      Ha ha… I can point the fountain out to you but I have a feeling you may be disappointed with the wine thing. 😛

  7. Well, I have never taken active part in such poojas but its always good to see deities of Gods and Goddesses residing gloriously in pandaals decorated with twinkling lights. The fact that this culture is dying down is not very comforting. 😦

    Nicely written Deboshree 🙂 I hope you have a fun filled Durga Pooja 🙂

    • Not comforting is the right phrase Chhavi. This whole news left me rather discomfited.
      Thanks a lot though… I wish the Goddess blesses our families now and always. 😀

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