Festivals

Durga Puja Tales

Like every year, Maa Durga arrived on her special ride, stayed with us for those auspicious ten days and then departed, leaving us craving for yet another year of her homecoming again. Before leaving, she blessed us with health, happiness, food and loads of memories. For me, Durga Puja has always been a reminder that happiness find its way home. The rejuvenating and scintillating feeling of loved ones reuniting and celebrating the festival together has a charm of its’ own. Durga Puja means we are still alive, still together and still bonded.

The blazing LED lights, thousands of people dressed so elegantly in new stiff clothes hovering over the pandals and the different food vendors outside, chit-chatting excitedly and happily like the sparrows; makes me believe that if happiness is somewhere, it is right here, right here in this moment, the moment I am living right now!

Durga Puja is nostalgic. The essence of the festival, the holy atmosphere and all around happy faces brings solace, peace and the calmness to the tired souls. The feeling of being alive and not just breathing is divine. Every happy soul looks beautiful. It makes me believe that beauty still exists in people’s smile, a hearty laughter and in the glistening of tired eyes.

Being raised in a joint family, the arrival of Durga Puja meant new clothes, loads and loads of delicious festive foods, guests swarming over, hot discussions on which block’s (colony’s) pandal is the best, places (vendors) who are serving the best puchkas, chowmins, ghugni-chaats and other street delicacies. Loads of different shape and size balloons made a way in our home. The sheer excitement of holidays, friends, food, pandal visits and Maa Durga! Touching the feet of elders and getting a ten rupees new note along with their blessings. We often wondered seeing that note what all can be bought with that. Might be a whole dreamy world?

One of the other things which I remember and use to get really pepped up seeing was married woman wearing loads of bright red color sindoor on their neatly parted just washed hair, the sankha-pola and dozens of matching glass bangles, the bright colored neatly plated sarees and the alta painted feet. There is something really special about seeing ladies all dressed up like this. This is the only form I can fathom of my Maa whenever I think of her. The serenity, the poise, the calmness and the charming characters which she possesses, I wonder if I can ever be like her?

Every day of the puja is marked with a special food. Like Saptami having ghugni-chaat with lots of aalu chop and beguni. Astmi has to have poori, aalu dum, kheer, tomato-imli chutney, matar pulao and papad. Navmi can’t be complete without plain rice or tehri, mutton curry, thick homemade curd, salads and loads of mithai. Oh! The heavenly food!

Durga Puja, ghughni chaat, aalu chop, hindu festival, Maa Durga, besan k laddoo, nostalgia, memories, love, foodBalakrishnan K

This year, while talking to Maa over phone, she did mention making these at home. She even subtly told me that she can not feel the same old charm, the excitement and the happiness of Puja anymore. I know the rapid downfall of joint families and kids migrating to different cities for different reasons leaving back their old aging parents, play a major role in them feeling lonely. I know that the four old eyes wanted me to be there, badly. I just hope that I will be able to fulfill their wish next year and make their souls blossom like old times again 🙂

Durga Puja, ghughni chaat, aalu chop, hindu festival, Maa Durga, besan k laddoo, nostalgia, memories, love, foodBalakrishnan K

Over the years, things have changed drastically. But I guess, the bottom line is the same. Be happy, celebrate happiness, eat, pray and love. Waiting for the next Durga Puja already. I hope everyone feels as blessed and happy or more as I feel today.


HAPPY DUSSHERA READERS!

To Time, Togetherness and Beyond

It is a warm, cosy, bright, sunny afternoon today. Here I am, sitting with my legs crossed on my bed and wondering about the time spent with my family a few weeks back. Time flies… Yes! it does. And it does really fast. The jokes, laughter, gossips, food once shared or just being together, together in that very moment… leaves back tonne of memories, love, happiness, solace and peace in the tiny treasures held tightly in our hearts. When these moments get over… we realize how much we miss them and all of a sudden our hearts fill with anger, frustration and bewilderment. And when these feelings too fade away, all what is left is Loneliness.

Loneliness, family, loved ones, happiness, joy, time, memoriesPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

How you feel in any one moment is more important than anything else, because how you feel right now is creating your life. ~ Rhonda Byrne

Together Forever, family, love, life, time, moments, precious, lifePhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

Whenever someone leave, they leave behind a big void in our heart… even if it is just for some time. We cherish, remember, cry, crib for those moments. Over time, I have realized how much change time can bring in a person. I wonder, is it the same person whom I have known or thought to be all my life? Change is persistent. I know. But don’t we, at times, want things to be the same all through our life? The same how we remember it to be, have believed to be, have cherished to be and have loved to be!

Vegetable Chop, street food, Jharkhand, Love for food, Love, Moms foodPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

Life isn’t always what we expect it to be. Being around with our loved ones weaving memories together is always a thing to cherish and behold. These classic moments if celebrated with food enhances the essence of these times. A month back, when my mom was here, we celebrated Durga Puja with some crispy, hot, yummy vegetable chops. It did help in removing some of the longings of being at my home town during this much awaited festival. Don’t we, in such times, need something to soothe our souls, something very calming, something very refreshing, something which connects us to our roots? Atleast, it was a happy ending 🙂

Continue making memories folks. Adieu, until we meet again…

Subh Deepavali, Diwali, Diwali 2015, Happiness, Festival, Light, Shine, Lights, EnjoyBalakrishnan K

“The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightning shine. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.”

Subh Deepavali, Diwali, Diwali 2015, Happiness, Festival, Light, Shine, Lights, EnjoyGulmohar Doodles

Subh Deepavali, Diwali, Diwali 2015, Happiness, Festival, Light, Shine, Lights, EnjoyGulmohar Doodles

Subh Deepavali, Diwali, Diwali 2015, Happiness, Festival, Light, Shine, Lights, EnjoyGulmohar Doodles

HAPPY HOLI FOLKS :)

May this holi bring lots of colors in your life and wash away all the sadness, misery and evil thoughts. May you be able to accept that we are all equal. May our mind know only one word – freedom, and only one cause – love

HAPPY HOLI…!

 

 

— Happy Holi :)

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