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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Celebrating Durga Puja in the Bay Area

For a person hailing from Kolkata, the biggest disappointment of being far away from the homeland is to miss Durga Puja, the biggest festival for the people of Bengal. The pandals, the lights, the people, the festivities, the junk food etc all make this just a great time to be in Kolkata. Yes, the place will be crowded, the place will be polluted and yes, it will hot and sweaty too, especially if you wear heavy duty new clothing and jewellery. But that is what makes this time of the year so special - a festival which bonds all the people together, a festival where all of them get-together and celebrate life in a way.

However, for the millions staying in the Bay Area, we have to contend ourselves with the handful of Durga Pujas that happen here. The number of Pujas have risen steadily over the past few years. Previously, we used to have Pujas over the weekends but now, there are a couple of them that take place in synch with that in Kolkata - so, you have 4 days of complete festivity. We managed to visit a couple of them out here and yes, it was great fun. Of course, one cannot compare this with what happens in Kolkata but hey, beggars cannot be chosers ;-). This was as good as it got. Here are some snaps from Durga Puja celebrations in the Bay Area - relive our Pujas :).

-- Thyaga


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