Today is Maha Shashthi. Durga Puja begins today. Like every Bengali I am all excited and enthusiatic about Puja. But this time, my Puja celebration will be different. Instead of going out, pandal hopping, eating out, I'll spend most of my time at home with Aanya. This is Aanya's first Puja, and I hope I'll be able to take her to the Puja pandal for a bit one of the days.
Since I won't be able to go out of the house leaving Aanya alone, my mother has made the offering to Maa Durga for Shashthi Puja on my behalf. It's a little odd that I am sitting at home instead of going out, but I am not one bit upset. There was a time when I used to be in tears if I had to stay at home during the four days of the Puja. Now, for Aanya, nothing matters but her! Guess this what motherhood does to women.
Today started on a good note though. I went to a Goonj volunteer's place this morning to drop some clothes and shoes. Giving things, reaching out to people is my way of living. What could have been a better way to start my Puja celebration?
The next 3 days I will try and blog besides spending some 'quality' time with my little one! Tomorrow is Saptami... what fun!
Saptami is almost over, and I have finally found some time to myself. Aanya took her vaccines and polio drops this afternoon. She hasn't been cranky or anything but she sure feels a little pain; after all she had to take 2 pin pricks! She chose to be in my arms rather than sleeping on her own bed.
Tomorrow will be different. I am going to the Puja pandal at Lokhandwala, may have some Bhog also.
Maha Ashtami! I had many plans for this day, but they had to be altered. Never mind, I am going to make it all up tomorrow. The good things... I did have some bhog as Ma brought home some for me. Later in the evening I went to the Lokhandwala pandal for a bit, and guess what? Aanya went too! Just that she did not enter the premises, but stayed with my mother in the car.
The Puja pandal looked as beautiful as ever, and I particularly liked the 'Pratimas' (idols). I also liked the yellow and blue lights hanging from the ceiling. In one of the Bengali news channels it was mentioned, that this time the Lokhandwala Puja is displaying works of Murshidabad, right from the decor to the dhakis. The sound of the dhak has a dizzying effect on me, and this evening it did help to set the right mood; I had goosebumps!
That was about Ashtami. Aanya turned 2 months today! And yes, we had another cake cutting celebration, and as usual, Aanya was fast asleep during the cake cutting and the photo shoot!
Maha Nabami. Today it felt like Puja! My Mashi, Mesho and cousins arrrived this morning to spend the day with us. It's wonderful to have family around during Durga Puja.
I got up rather early considering that I went to sleep past 7 in the morning. Aanya is a night baby and a morning baby, hence I am up almost all the time! Anyway, I got Aanya ready and then I wore a saree (my once a year schedule), and then rushed to the Puja pandal with Joy. As we reached, we heard the announcement that the next Pushpanjali was to start in 5 minutes.
Pushpanjali is one part of Durga Puja I like the most. I feel it's a way of connecting with the Almighty. I am not a religious person, nor do I believe in doing Puja; however, there is something about Durga Puja that makes me think and feel otherwise. This is one ritual I have performed almost all of my life. The last 4/5 years Joy has started embracing this ritual too.
Aanya came to the pandal a little later with Ma, and then after a while she became the centre of attraction. Thanks to my mother's many friends in the Puja commitee, Aanya got to seek blessings from Maa Durga by getting on the podium and being there right in front of the Pratima! Almost all eyes were on her, everyone wondering who this kid was, while Aanya slept peacefully through the entire event!
Joy and I chose to skip Bhog as there was a huge queue, and it was extremely hot and sultry. After a short while we came back home, just my Ma and Mashi stayed back at the pandal.
Today was a wonderful day in many ways. Though I was tired and sleepy I enjoyed every moment of the day. It is Dashami tomorrow, the end of Durga Puja. I still feel sad when Puja gets over just the way I used to feel as a little girl. From this year on, Durga Puja will have more significance as I have Aanya in my life!