02 March, 2021

Durga Puja Diary

Sourav Hazra, an industrial infrastructure advisor, shares his tumultuous experience of Durgotsava

Illustration by Saahil
Durga Puja Diary
outlookindia.com
2020-10-30T14:16:48+05:30
Ah, Calcutta

It is early autumn morning; the smell of budding frangipani flowers lingers in my brain, bringing back recollections of carefree childhood revelries in Calcutta. I get ready to fly out to Africa, to the Niger Delta, an exquisite and proud land of sub Saharan music. Afrobeat freely mixes in the palette of my mind, with the hypnotic vibrations of the Dhak, embodying the nirvana of my youth: the festival of Durgotsava, a tumultuous experience characterised by a force-field of bliss. It begins with a Proustian ‘madeleine’ moment. The awnings of dawn are outside my plexiglass, sunrays slant in. I hark back to a similar daybreak in my childhood, an annual event that presaged Durga Puja. Woken up each year by my grandmother, as if by clockwork, on this auspicious day of Mahalaya, we listen to the sonorous rise and fall of Birendra Kishore Bhadra’s voice through All India Radio’s morning broadcast of Mahishasurmardini—an...

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