Shivaji Park Bengal Club Durga Puja 2012
The Bengali Durga Puja Festival lasts for five days as compared to the nine nights of Navratri.The main puja for the Goddess starts on Mahasaptami.Today is Maha Ashtami,the next day.We visited the Mahalakshmi temple,then the Ekviradevi Temple and finally the Bengal Club Durga Puja.
It is the 77th year of its celebration.The place was vibrant! We were in time for the Anjali.Several people from other communities also come here so I landed up explaining it to the Punjabi lady standing next to me.
Maa Durga and Kalimata are both avatars of the Goddess Parvati.
Pandals offer Bhog first to the Goddess and then to all that come.This is mostly Khichuri made of rice,lentils and vegetables.Here the drums played while the Goddess was covered and offered the food.
I was quite keen to try it today but the line was oh-so-long!!! In fact this happens globally.My friend Pree told us that the Toronto Kali Bari Durga Puja was super long too
Went to see the stalls instead
My cousin got lovely white bangles made of shell,that she had been wanting since childhood! The shopkeeper got quite upset when I confirmed they were made of conch shell...."You think I will give you plastic?" he said! :) These she matched with red lacquer ones and an iron one(loha).
There were lots of people there and I bumped into many people I knew.
We saw shops with jute chappals,Kolkata sarees and salwar kameez material.I have bought them before.The good thing is that the colour does not run.The many boutiques and fancy shops of Mumbai can learn a thing or two from them to prevent ruining our clothes with the first wash.
It would be an understatement to say Bengalis love their food and are particular about it..It's not surprising then that food stalls at the Pujo had such good food (thought a bit greasy).In fact I think in terms of taste it outdid the meals I'd had in Bong restaurants.What would be nice is to have had tables so that we could sit there and eat.We took the food home but many people stood and ate
There was the majestic Ilish with its many,many bones in a lush mustard curry.There was Betki too
But the best was the Rui Macch.....oh so heavenly....perfectly cooked and spiced and fresh!
The rice was cooked just right and I think it was Gobindobhog.
Can there be any Bong fest without rolls? Here they were served with a dollop of Kasundi.
Spotted Mishti Doi and a sweetmeat stall that had the maximum crowd but gave it a miss.