As I’ve earlier said that Durga pujo is not just a festival but an emotion for all Bongs residing inside or outside of Kolkata. This time, Kolkata looks quite distinct from other days. The fairy lights hanging from all the corners of the streets, the hoardings showcasing different advertisements, the pandal making , various temporary stalls are put up in many locations, the fairs alongside the pujo grounds transfer Kolkata into a hysterical trance.
Apart from Durga puja, Navratri is held during this time. When rest of the India eats vegetarian food, we Bongs gorge upon non-veg😀 Durga pujo is related to home-coming of our beloved daughter Uma with her kiddos to her maiden home. This definitely calls for a celebration. In many households, the married daughters come back to their father’s place.
Now pujo shopping (shopping for the purpose of pujo) plays a pivotal role in Durga pujo jollification. Different trendy clothes become trending during this time. Fashion designers work day and night to design new designs and set new trends. After all the time calls for merrymaking.
Now in Kolkata there are three main shopping markets. Hatibagan which is in North Kolkata, New Market which is in mid Kolkata and Gariahat lies in South Kolkata. Numerous shops lay down their stocks for us and display their best ones in manequins.
While I was penning down this, I became nostalgic riminiscing my childhood. During those times, I used to go shopping with my parents in Hatibagan. As I stepped down from the bus, my first priority was to gorge upon chicken rolls. I loved eating rolls in childhood. I was a nagging kid since then, my mother faced difficulty while feeding me, so she wouldn’t intervene, as then, it were only rolls which I relished without any tantrums. Then carrying a roll in my hand, our next destination used to be the shops. Definitely we were abstrained to enter into any as my roll might stain the clothes. After consuming it outside, we would get the chance to enter.
Let me share another instance with you guys. Again in one such puja time daddy bought me a toy giraffe filled with air. It was kind of a balloon. As it was not possible for us to inflate, my daddy requested them to puff it in the shop itself. After inflation, it doubled almost half of my size. I was so in awe and overwhelmed that I found it to be dangerous to stroll in the street carrying that in hand. I might have thought then that someone will snatch it from me. Coming outside the shop, my mom urged me to have roll. I told them that I wanted to go home immediately. Daddy requested me to have roll and then our puja shopping was also pending. I started crying at the top of my voice. Finally my parents had to give up and come back home. Back at home, I was so elated and relaxed that atleast I could bring back my giraffe safely at home.
Nowadays, its not possible to shop offline owing to our hectic work pressure. Online shopping sites have taken over the place of shops. But it’s ok. We should always go with the flow. But that charm of pujo shopping always remain same in every Bongs’ hearts, be it online or offline, pujo.
So this is it for now. Do let me know how you all liked my childhood stories.