bangla bengal Bong way of life Calcutta Durga Puja Memories nostalgia Pujo ebong anushangik bhalolaga Uncategorized

Tarpan Vidhi Part-2 / তর্পণ বিধি পর্ব – ২

As promised on my blog’s Facebook page – The Big Bong Theory, this is the second part of the three parts of the digitally restored notes from my maternal grandfather in law – Mr Dilip Kumar De’s (Dadu’s) diary about the “Tarpan Vidhi”.

Read the first part here and the third part here.

Typing down such difficult Bangla/Sanskrit on Avro Keyboard has been a tough job, but I will be happy if his work finds a global window and helps people. The digitalisation is not 100% perfect or correct. Apologies for any unintended errors. The remaining parts will be published soon. Read till the end to know more about the remarkable man.

তর্পণ বিধি পর্ব -২

৫/ দিব্য পিতৃতর্পণ

দক্ষিণ দিকে ঘুরিয়া বসিতে হইবে। কোষাকুষি ও জলপূর্ণ পাত্র সামনে রাখিতে হইবে। জলপূর্ণ পাত্রে কৃষ্ণতিল ও তুলসী সর্বদা রাখিতে হইবে। জল ফেলিবার জন্য খালি পাত্রটি পাশে রাখিতে হইবে। একটি আলাদা পাত্রে তুলসীপাতা ও আর একটি পাত্রে কৃষ্ণতিল রাখিতে হইবে, যখন জলপূর্ণ পাত্রের তিল ও তুলসী কমিয়া যাইবে, তখন পুনরায় উহাতে মিশাইতে হইবে।

বাম হাঁটু মাটিতে পাতিয়া ও দক্ষিণ হাঁটু তুলিয়া বসিতে হইবে। পিতৃতীর্থ দ্বারা – অর্থাৎ, কোষাটি জলপূর্ণ করিয়া দক্ষিণ হস্তের তর্জনী ও অঙ্গুষ্ঠের মূল প্রদেশ দ্বারা ধারন করিয়া, এক এক অঞ্জলি জল নিম্নলিখিত প্রতিটি মন্ত্রের সঙ্গে খালি পাত্রে ফেলিতে হইবে। লক্ষ্য রাখিতে হইবে, প্রতিবার অঞ্জলি দেওয়ার সময় যেন জলপূর্ণ পাত্র হইতে কিছু তিল ও তুলসীপাতা কোষায় আসে।

bangla bengal Calcutta Durga Puja Memories nostalgia Pujo ebong anushangik bhalolaga Uncategorized

Tarpan Vidhi Part-1 / তর্পণ বিধি পর্ব – ১

Recently, I stumbled upon a family heirloom tucked away in glory inside my mother in law’s belongings. My paternal grandfather in law, late Mr. Biman Behari Ray, had once asked my maternal grandfather in law, later Mr Dilip Kumar De (Dadu) to write down the details of “Tarpan Vidhi” – the ritual of offering water to ancestors on the occasion of Mahalaya, the beginning of Devipaksha, according to the Hindu calendar. Dadu had given him a handwritten diary with all the details mentioned with his usual precision. I do not know if such an admirable and erudite piece about our gradually forgotten traditions is available online or not. At least I have not come across one. So this Mahalaya, just as we begin to celebrate the spirit of Durga Puja, I, his eldest granddaughter in law, intend to pay a tribute to  a scholarly man in this very small way.

As promised on my blog’s Facebook page – “The Big Bong Theory“, this is the first of the three parts of the digitally restored notes from Dadu’s diary about the “Tarpan Vidhi”.  Typing down such difficult Bangla/Sanskrit on Avro Keyboard has been a tough job, but I will be happy if his work finds a global window and helps people. The digitalisation is not 100% perfect or correct. Apologies for any unintended errors. The remaining parts will be published soon. Read till the end to know more about the remarkable man.

Read the second part here and the third part here.

তর্পণ বিধি পর্ব – ১

১/ আবাহন

দক্ষিণে মুখ করিয়ে কম্বলাসনে বসিতে হইবে। সামনে কোষাকুষি থাকিবে, তার সামনে একটি খালি পাত্র, এবং ডান দিকে ১টি বা ২টি জলে ভর্তি পাত্র থাকিবে। দুইবার মন্তপাঠ সহ আচমন করিতে হইবে।

আচমন করিবার বিধি

কোষায় জল ও তুলসীপাতা থাকিবে; বাম হস্তে কুষি ধরিয়ে সামান্য জল ডান হাতের তালুতে লইতে হইবে, ও তাহা দ্বারা আচমন করিতে হইবে। আচমন করিয়া জল খালি পাত্রে ফেলিতে হইবে। আচমন করিবার সময় “নমোঃ বিষ্ণু, নমোঃ বিষ্ণু, নমোঃ বিষ্ণু” বলিতে হয়।

Bong way of life Calcutta personal Pujo ebong anushangik bhalolaga

Pujo and perceptions

The title sounds like an academic paper but I have nothing to footnote about other than what Prof. Dhanda would have termed as aboriginal research. Or may be if we can consider adda on ashatmi night while pandal hopping as an authentic source for mapping the changing face of the bengali milieu most evident during what else but durga pujo, then why not?
Frankly speaking, I am overjoyed. ‘Happy’ will be an understatement to convey my feelings at this point of time. The reason? Isn’t it quite obvious? A bong writing a blogpost about pujo and being overjoyed after she is done with sending most of her “Shubho Bijoya” sms es- yes! I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to run back home this time. To tell the truth for me pujo and home are synonymous. I don’t understand the concept of probashi pujos even after staying almost five years away from home. I missed a few in between and only a bong far away from home can understand what it feels like- those four days. Trust me- you feel cheated! no less.
But this post is not about cribbing and what you miss in probashi pujos- the feel and beat of it. Nope! even with two seminar paper submissions due in some four days and end semester exams around the corner- I can still bet, right now am rejuvenated and replenished. You know how unplanned trips work for some- same happened with me this time. I booked my tickets at the eleventh hour, it cost me a bomb but then again who cares? I got to be home. And once home, it meant choc a bloc plans with old friends, few who have kept in touch and been there since primary school. Friends who are for real and with whom it’s always unadulterated fun. Thank you everyone for being there and to tell you the truth, this was one of my best pujos ever. My facebook album already bears testimony to that. It may be because, it was after so long, may be it is because we are slowly but gradually getting used to the ugly side of life- bitching, backbiting et. al. And that obviously includes the unnecessary interest that some people take in my life. of course I feel like a celeb when they. I have absolutely no issues with that.

Ok! I didn’t digress. This post is supposed to be somewhat close to heart rant types. I don’t know if the bits and pieces here are relevant but this pujo made me realise what it is like having fun. And by fun I don’t mean the usual dancing on DJ night like crazy or for that matter the usual crazy stuff like playing hide and seek, water fights etc. that we keep on doing round the year in hostel or NALSAR- I mean the old world stuff. May be it has been long enough, but I rediscovered the pleasure of pandal hopping or fighting with Dactar babu over where to go- Selimpur/Jodhpur Park belt or Bosepukur at around 9 in the night in fornt of Gariahat more. It was just like those 9-10 days in Nava Nalanda when Saibal used to take out a scale an measure up the bench while dividing it into three parts….and while me and aparajita laughed over his idiosyncrasies while sitting in the next bench, he would turn around and protest. Just like he did this time- “uff!! tui rakhto ingreji”. Or for that matter the one hour hide and seek game he playe dinfront of shibmondir while we stage managed….uff!!! puro pagol. or for that matter while mickey announced- “tora saibal er theke ekta chlormint o aday kor, ami toder khawabo”…those pleasures of Rupees four bus rides and the squabble over the cab fare. Good ole’ days. That reminds me, this pujo also made me and aparajita realise that our midas touch (the great pairing I mean) remian intact…..those were the days when we used to bakraofy people for that alukabli treta, this year ankur volunteered while we coaxed him to treat us at a upmarket South Calcutta restaurant on Ashtami. Or those silly moments remembered with our man eater while cabbing it back home when Apo and me were busy taking his trip. Thank you Deblin for those VIP passes and Agni for the guest appearance. Thank you everyone. And Saibal- even if we make fun of everything you do, you hold our group together. Thank you for everything and organinsing our meets.
And before I forget to mention, the jhari standards have gone down drastically…or may be we are growing too old, but I didn’t enjoy Maddox that much this year..went for some half an hour on Ashtami, but the crowd was so so. The highlight obviously was spotting an old geeky classmate having papri chaat with his girlfriend. That and his spiked hair tempted us to go and take his trip…but obviously he looked at us, spotted us and gave a glance of non recognition. I also realised that my para pujo has changed….lots of new faces…no jhaari type remains (sigh!) and of course none of my friends- masume or pamela were there. But then again Ashtami morning is meant for para pujo- anjali and bhog. Nothing changes that or for that matter the polite conversations we have every year in my posh south Calcutta neighbourhood every year. This year the congratulatory messages were an added attraction, more so because of the stiff upper lip kind of brand name that I got in may be. Duly savoured 😀 And nobomi of course was meant for old stuff – get together of our brother and sister gang with Tups joining us this time but Mam didibhai sadly missing from the scene. And our ‘chiroporichito’ jadavpur eating out place was the preferred destination this year too.
Baba didn’t do his famous dhunuchi naach this year because of the death of many a patrons of our parar pujo.  His silent way of commemorating the lost souls. Though the festivities continued, his gesture was duly appreciated from the sensible quarters. Doshomi made me cry, but then again which bong at heart doesn’t cry on Doshomi. I had to come back. But then again no worries…Ashche bochhor abar hobe…or may be I have to save my leaves for a very special occasion that I am really looking forward to.

P.S.- I must say, Bengali women have become more open to choices across the world while dressing up. While Laal paar taant or tusshar remains my favourite on Ashtami and nothing beats that, I was surprised to spot women sporting halter necks with their saris. But please, next time you wear that, just bother to gym a bit and lose some weight. Also, another new entrant was the dress- floral, cocktail or classic evening wear, trust bong women to bring the supposed pub hopping gear or the classy party wear range to maddox, obviously sometimes with disastrous consequences. But at least they tried. Shame on you men- you stuck around with your trousers and the only experimentation was in the form of coloured dhuti- keu dhakka parer dhuti try koro next year, bujhley??

Calcutta personal Pujo ebong anushangik bhalolaga

My sister keeps on giving me all the updates about pujo over phone. She told me all about her shopping plans, the two tops she picked up from the new store near my house, the pandal that is yet to come up, the excitement in her class about the dabangg moves and how will it culminate during pujo.  Yes! another year, another pujo which I am going to miss. I remember my 1st year in NALSAR when my parents came down to Hyderabad to celebrate the pujo with me. On Ashtami morning I visited one of those heavily sponsored Bengali Association Pujos in the city. To say the least, I was heartbroken. Pujo for me or for that matter for every one from Calcutta does have many more connotations of jhari mara, phuchka khawa, maddox, notun sari, hal fashiner juto, shoe bites, biriyani, chinese and many more attached to it than the very obvious religious rituals. I worship the goddess Durga through out the year (though it never assumes the ritualistic skyscraper levels which some of my friends indulge in), but for me pujo is special for it’s never to be understood enigma. what do they call..ah! yes, pujor gondho. For the first time that year, I had cried in front of the idol. The emotions had the better of me because I missed Calcutta, home and everything that a nostalgic bong feels. My family was there to comfort me. and thanks to them I managed. Since then I have missed many more and this year will not be an exception. But for me during those 4 days- time comes to a stand still and moves to a time when the sky donned up a darker shade of blue- the time when shoshti mornings meant mapping up all the best idols in the city, lunch in china bowl while cracking sad jokes, navami nights meant baba’s dhunuchi nach followed by the jog dance for which we gulped down biriyani at bedwin and ran twinkle toed to grab front row seats. The time when Ashtami mornings meant the grouping up of girls- me, didibhai, mam didibhai, masume, pamela to fight with the boys over the charge of the microphone…..To tell you the truth, I think am growing old. Pujo has put me in a time bubble out of which I am yet to come out. I doubt whether all my friends will be that free on a shoshti morning now. I am sure they wont be. Our half yearly get togethers (when I get home) are pushed back to that weekend when they are free from office.
Today I was having a conversation with a junior form 1st year (fresh blood you see!) and like every other conversation where two bongs are involved it gradually turned towards the revered topic of Durga Pujo. He was talking about Maddox Square, girls and the aura. That’s when I realised, the grass had been really greener on that side. Only that the patch of green is long past me.

I so wish my NALSAR years do not end…this fifth year mirth continues. Eighteen till I die? what say? eh!

Calcutta Home Kalyan Sangha Pujo ebong anushangik bhalolaga

The community pujo.

I was having a random conversation with my cousin brother on gtalk and it was just the usual types -“how was your day?” “so did you finally get a girlfriend types”- until he told me about the pujo pandal coming up in a certain neighbourhood nestled in one corner of South Calcutta. No the conversation didn’t turn into a radical one, but it did overwhelm me with some emotions, predominantly nostalgic. memories, loads of them actually. 🙂

Kalyan Sangha- yes, that’s what my ‘para’ (neighbourhood/mohalla) is called. The pujo turns 39/40 this year (need to confirm this from baba). 40 years since the time when it was a peace loving predominantly bengali locality in an up and coming area of the city. 40 years down the lane (truly! only a lane… is often called the ‘snob’ neighbourhood which sleectively chose only 22 houses/many more households since the multistoried invasion, to call itself a close knit communiy) it has metamorphosed in to one of those very cosmopolitan parts of the city, posh and upmarket. Only the peaceloving bit has been taken to the hilt to the point that we often get to talk to our neighbours on Ashtami morning (and the following bhog ceremony) with the very formal- “kemon achho?” needless to say the rest of the connversation most of the time flows in anglicized bengali. (well, atleast we communicate once atleast!)
I have heard numerous stories from pishimoni about the para love affairs or the drama they used to stage every year for bijoya sommiloni. I have never witnessed anything of that sort in my 21 years of existance. There were sporadic Bijoya sommiloni and I particularly remember one where I was made to dance on stage with Miss Jojo singing (*shrink*), but then theye were very very formal occasions. and bout the love affairs, the least said the better. I guess we had moved into a generation of being very conscious bongs.
But then again I love them, my neighbours I mean…I love them being around, or is it just a habit that we have just grown used to.
My father is actively involved with all the para pujo activities (be it in any capacity), so I have seen my drawingroom turn into a virtual control room before pujo, or the editorial office just before the commemorative issue of that year’s pujo comes up. yeah! we dont even have a proper club-ghor, lol…we have a registered address though. In fact all the utensils needed for pujo are those which my family use for all other religious purposes. similarly the sondhi pujo lamps are given by another friendly neighbour or the Baikali bhog prepared by an always smiling jethi or the jethu-jethi couple I quite like who supervise the entire pujo. Our para pujo is not a big affair. Contributions, even the amount sounds big, do not add up for the entire expenses. So a favourite family of mine sponsor the Durga idol, a kaku sponsoring the Ashtami bhog or people like my baba and others using their official contacts for advertisements. That helps, since our para is very strategically located and the hoardings can be placed at the right places to grab attention. I guess this is the armth that keeps the pujo going in between the continous rants every year in the pujo meeting that its increasingly becoming an exercise of the elderly, with hardly any participation of the younger generation. and with so many new faces in the para these days, very few actually understand the sentiment. But then again, there are a few amongst them who really want to mingle and interact….new blood or not, Kalyan Sangha stays on.
We had won the competitions for best pujo in the area in our 25th and 26th year of celebrations, but the pomp seems to be waning by the day…what remains though is fond memories and warmth. ah! yes, the warmth..even after talking about lack of communication through most of my post. Why so?? may be because this is the place most of us still call home, yes, the proper home….not the multistoried ones……well the giant has nice old sprawling houses falling prey to it every now and then, but may be because of our relative snob status ( :P), am proud to say that my neighbourhood has preserved many a memory of a by gone era. 🙂
Also, for most of us this is the place where we understood what the atmosphere of pujo truly is (pujor hawa). I remember how much i used to bawl ove rthe issue that I have to visit my mamabari to be a part of a pujo where everybody is back home by 9. No, that didnt work out for me. For me my pujo is still being at my para mondop 10’0 clock sharp on nabami night where Baba will do his famous dhunuchi naach. one of my parar dada who stays in hyderabad but makes it a point to return to Calcutta every pujo once told me that it was impossible to think of Kalyan Sangha’s pujo without Baba’s dhunuchi naach on Nabami 🙂 That also paves the way for the younger generation to take over with their forms of the traditional dance form and trust me I also witnessed a certain somebody doing what we termed as the “jog dance”. Just that the young need to come up and shoulder some responsibilities too. will happen…am an optimist you see.
Also, this is the place where you can expect to catch up with your childhood buddies with whom you rarely get to meet these days. Many like me and Masume, my childhood friend, are away from home (both of us dont get to attend the pujo this year. sigh!). Many have migrated to different parts of the city. But whenever you meet them you feel good and happy. May be its all because of the fake pistol firing competitions that we had or the guys v/s girls big fight (seriously we made a vow not to talk to each others groups after that and it does bring a chuckle to think about it right now) or the fight over the microphone about who will make the next announcement. It has all been a part of our growing up. just like those horrible nicknames (i love them though) by which we know each other.
It was not only us. My mom told me about her meeting with a very pretty aunty who was once our neighbour in the metro. She was still very nostalgic about the neighbourhood she had stayed in for 22 years…and it has been some 8 years since she left it.
May be this is the place I first fell in love. May be I did (completely head over heels type :P)
Kalyan Sangher torof theke agoto dorshonarthider janayi sharodiyar preeti of shubhechaa. 🙂
Pujo ebong anushangik bhalolaga


Boddo obohelay sajano ek raash bhalolagar majhe tumi khanik ta ujjol

khanikta niyommafik, khanikta dishehara, khanikta paglamo
ar purotayi kuashachonno.
Oti porichito amar ei dokkhin kolkatar goli, chena jana phuchkawala
tution ferot suchitra bhattacharya r hatchani wala ranga molat
shororter ager sesh borshar majhe rasta ghire fela basher gondho.
ballygunge er school ferot uchu flat baritar opor theke dekha akash ta.
ey soberi modhye kothau hariye chile tumi
ageo dekhechi onek baar
fyakashey hoye jawa schoolbag er araley, golpark er anach ey kanach ey
gariahat ey dordaam kore kena onek gulo kanerdool- pashapashi kothau jano tomar gondho
sei chena ochena pujor gondho makha, brishti bheja bash er moto
Hothat shoroter rod makha saptamir sokaler moto.
ochena theko, osposhto theko, bhalo theko.