The run up to the Durga Pujo have been good. Plenty of Puja-barshiki, plenty of shopping(oh yes!) and plenty of eating out, and ofcourse the usual as well.
Puja-barshiki is a thick, two-hundred page odd annual magazine, that comes with the autumnal breezes as a harbinger to the festivities in Bengal. I remember pouring over them, as a kid, reading through Anondomela, adventures of Feluda, Professor Shonku, the Moti Nandi short stories, sitting in the evenings solving puzzles and crosswords. So, now that i am home for Pujo, it was almost imperative for me to go ahead and get that copy. But well, times change, tastes change, and so do pulp fiction. Its no longer the same. Now there are feluda comics, and lots of odds and ends about popular science, and Kakababu (my singularly despised sleuth, too stiff upper lip for me!), and well lots of cricket! Needless to say, i felt like a fish out of water, or more precisely, a buffalo between calves!
Then of course, comes Pujo music. I havent had the oppurtunity to get a taste of them, unless ofcourse, you take what Metallica brought out to be Pujor gaan. No comments.
However, i cant beleive myself writing this, shoppinng has been good fun. I have been to quite a few different shops, from the old ones in New Market, to the malls and hawkers. All of them, equally crowded, but yes, with women of all ages. At times, , i felt like a misfit there, soon enough, i learnt not to bother. With the malls, shopping becomes a whole day affair, with lunch and a movie. Quite different from the days of yore, when we (cousins) used to be given an icecream, while the elders were getting bales of saris on counters to choose from. Thats also there now, but now, i dont get the icecreams!
Eating out has been enjoyable also. Especially with family. Here i still have that soft spot for old times, going back to Park Street, or Gariahat, instead of the insitu ones in malls, even after a movie. China Town is also there in the to-do list.
At the same time, there is lots of traffic jams, and rallies, given the political situtaion now in Bengal.The heat hasnt spilled over to the Pujo preparations. Still the festivities are on, by foot or car, big or small. Hope the rains dont spoil it.