Wishes for Durga Puja

Wishes for Durga Puja
image credit: Rourkela TIPS

Wishes for Durga Puja this year 2020 from million of hearts were true and may be more stronger for better of the world but the cities and towns looked pretty lonely. The vibes of the Bengali festival were much awaited like every year but this time was widely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The streets were empty, the shops and shopping were limited, all the pandal kept waiting, the late night pandal hopping and dinner parties were very less, even the idols were very smaller than other years.

Where some believed that Puja is more important than the size and look of the idol while others proved it that no Pandemic can stop them from the ownership of competitive and customarily practiced Maa idol and Pandal. During my life time, I never saw such a Durga Puja where even I did not hop Pandals or even did not come out of home for safety of our children and family. I remember walking miles with friends and family from street to street and Pandal to Pandal trying not to miss out a single Idol during Puja and enjoy the street food place to place.

This year the Corona pandemic has although affected deep into our life style and festival moods. But in a way it made us more stronger and patient observer. We may not believe how well we could resist our temptations for our daily habits and lifestyle and took more care of ourselves and others for safety of all. My wishes for Durga Puja 2020 is for all.

Significance of Durga Puja Pandal- wishes for Durga Puja

Durga Puja Pandal
image credit: facebook.com

This year I loved this Durga Puja Pandal the most. I found this picture in social media and was overwhelmed. Although our usual festive behavior was affected but the affinity towards worship is still the same. Our love for Durga Maa stands tall and little kids prove that everything is possible. As my viewers from outside India also, I would like to brief a little about Maa Durga and Durga Puja.

Durga Puja is also known as Durgotsava. This is a Hindu festival originating in the India celebrated anually to welcome and pray, worship to Hindu goddess Durga Maa. It is mainly celebrated all over India and wherever Hindu community recides. But, truely as a festival and the best way, this is celebrated traditionally in the Indian states like West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Tripura and also the country of Bangladesh. Also observed in Mithilanchal regions of Bihar and Nepal. The 10 day festival is observed in the Indian calendar month of Aashwin which corresponds to the months of September–October in the Gregorian calendar. Mainly the Pujas of Shashti(the sixth day) , Saptami, Ashthami, Navami and Dashami are widely observed.

The prayer or Puja is performed in homes as well as in public. The gallery include huge pandals, decorations, cultural programs, poetry recitations, performing arts, feast, Visarjan or (Bidding bye to Durga Maa in public processions to the river). After Vijaya Dashami Puja, the clay idols of Maa Durga are taken to the nearest river for immersion through huge and long processions amidst huge audience. People have wishes for Durga puja.

History of Durga Maa

The pre-historic age Hindu mythology literature depicts Maa Durga as a destroyer of a demon named Mahishasur (means the look of a buffalo demon). The Asur was blessed with many powers by God due to his hard Tapasya  (austerity). But, the demon later started fighting the Gods and considered himself as God. One of the powers he got was that he can’t be killed by anyone other than a woman. He had no respect for women and believed that this was not impossible till The Tridev (God Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh created Maa Durga with all weapons and a Lion as a carrier for end of the demon Mahisasura.

Maa Durga was created as the symbol of power (Shakti) of women. This meant that women can be equally powerful and dangerous than men when it comes to justice , protection or killing of evil. In Hindu mythology Goddess Durga has one of the most important and top positions when it comes to worship. It is like Goddess Durga comes with her family mainly with Devi Lakshmi, Devi Saraswati, Lord Ganesha, Lord, Kartik to earth to stay with the people for 10 days.

This period is celebrated as Durga Puja and the events are hugely decorative and eye catching. Even today, this Puja is to depict women power and all women have a Durga inside them. They can be equally dangerous against any evil or cruelty in the society. The beautiful picture of Miss Uma Deb below on her Durga Maa look gives a feeling of comfort to all the women to peep inside themselves and bring out the power they curtail.

wishes for Durga Puja
image credit: Miss Uma Deb, Haflong, Assam, India

The Pandals and food

These are some of the Pandals decorations of Durga Puja at Rourkela last year 2019. These are built with bamboos, wood and cloth and other decorations and the elevation views are just a pleasure to the eyes. People visit the Pandals in masses and enjoy the evenings of from Shasti to Navami. The visits are often with friends, family or even alone, especially the photographers who love to click store the best of them.

The best times include random Pandal hopping, dating, Indian street foods like Kulfi, ice cream, gol gappas, chaats and dinners and parties with friends and family. It’s like enjoying to the fullest till next year. People working in different parts of the world wait for visiting their original home visit during Puja to meet their friends and family. This wait is a life time wait and the emotion can not be explained in words.

The most desirable food in Puja times is Khichdi in Mandirs, Pandals, or even at home. The entire music, visuals and parts of our lives changes to a holiday mood but with Durga Maa. People can have all types of food in all kinds of restaurants but if you did not have the Khichdi, Aalu bHaaja, Beguni with Desi Ghee and Payesh, the food is incomplete. This is other than the welcome sweet dishes like Rasagulla, Gulab Jamun, Galeebi, Mishti Doi, etc. which people offer to the guests and friends after Vijaya Dashami. All good wishes for Durga Puja.

image: Khichdi
image credit: Durga Puja 2020, Purti Aqua, Rajarhat Kolkata

The Vijaya Dashami

The last day of Durga Puja – The Vijaya Dashami Puja is attended by all bidding bye to Durga Maa and wishing to see her again soon after one year. The Puja is followed by procession and Visarjan in the river. After the puja, the married ladies play with Sindoor as a wishes of long and healthy married life for each other.  The students bring their books and copies and take the Aashirvaad from Goddess for healthy studies and bright future.

The Sindoor khela in Bengali is a must seen visuals where women wear Sarees in mix colour of white and red and the ritual of playing with Sindoor, usually known as Sindoor Khela in Bengali after the Puja. Once the Visarjan is complete, the Pandits or the Purohits being the Shaanti Dhaaga which people tie in their hands as Blessings or Aashirvad from Maa Durga.

With heavy heart to a wait of another year people keep up their positivity saying ” Maa Asche Bochor Aabar Hobe” which means Next year we shall meet and have the Puja again. Thank you friends. If you like the blog post, please recommend and share. Do comment if you want to hear more about Durga Puja.

image credit: facebook.com
Durga Pratima Visarjan
image credit: youtube

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