Thursday, October 25, 2012

-Letters from Kolkata - Vijaya Dashami

On Dashami, a day when supposedly good triumphs over evil..I woke up to a near by pandal mike blaring a quiz session. Their question, "Who is R Bhadra, what is their bhife and mathat-in-law's name. Who can tell I will be obliged, hands up" ( Welcome to Bengal)

Dashami, or Bijaya Dashami as it is known in many places, has a unique importance as far as mythological and...religious connotation goes. Not only is it symbollyic represantation of triumph of good over bad, but also it brings ot end the spactacle that is Durga Puja. The immersion in itself is poignant, espcially when most Bengalis treat Durga as the daughter of the house..letting go of her is painful.

Dashami is made colurful and vibrant with the Sindur Khela amongst married women of Bengal, who smear each other with vermilion, while wishing the Godess goodbye, in the hope of seeing her again next year. It is a strange mix of sentiments full of sadness and happiness.

On this day, the preparations, expectations that so many people have had for so many days comes to an end when the Godess is immersed in water.

Somewhere to hope, to another year and more importantly to the strength in faith and all that is beautiful and pure...Happy Bijaya Dashami.       -To Gowri-

Durga walks a busy road,

and pauses poignant at a crossing-

Thousands dance around her to the tune of Dhak

She turns her head at the madness,

A man sitting yonder,

has red childlike horns of mahishashur,

Some beard hides some poverty-

eyes hide an understanding of incoming death.

...She smiles then, and laughs out loud..

her voice somehow drowned in the joyous mayhem that is life-

The man with horns, folds his mat,

a day and life perhaps over.

Durga in her similing finery,

takes her final plunge,

there is water everywhere-

in some one's face and someone's eyes..

Some from the purge

and some from life.

© Maitreyee B Chowdhury

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