Friday, October 8, 2010

Durga Puja Enthrallments

For me, Durga Puja is equivalent to being in Jorhat-my home town. I was not born in Jorhat. My father was transferred to Jorhat in 1990 and our family has been there since then. So Jorhat is the home town I know and love.

Prior to Jorhat, I do not remember any Durga Puja. Excepting a few times, I have celebrated all Durga Pujas of my life in Jorhat.

As a child, Durga Puja meant new clothes, colourful glasses, balloons, small toys, visiting pandals, earnings for Kumari Puja (ranging from 25 paise to 2 rupees!!!), gifts from relatives and so on. I still remember the green and red plastic glasses in white plastic frames, my father bought for my sister and myself. How delighted we were and wore them all the time.

Among all, I love the chanting of Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu in the pandals, the rhythmic beating of the drums and the patjal offered. And ofcourse, balloons!!

Celebrations start in Jorhat from Mahalaya morning itself. The Gar-ali road would be blocked for vehicles and a police surveillance centre is set up in the midway. People dressed in their best would throng the road and walk from one end to the other. And the time would be 4 a.m.!! Such enthusiasm. And the road is covered live in the local channel. The same thing happens in all the evenings of Durga Puja starting from Maha Shashthi. And young boys if caught eve-teasing were made to kneel down holding their ears in front of the police surveillance centre!!

Now as we both sisters are away from home, we make it a point that we are home on the eve. On the Maha Shashthi evening, my mother would go to our usual pandals (Police reserve or the Puja mandir) to give "xorai" for the next day puja. From Maha Saptami onwards, we would go in the mornings to the pandal for offering "Puspanjali". On Maha Ashtami, bhog would be served for lunch-khichdi and laabra bhaji. I don't understand why the puja bhog tastes so very good, it is simply mouth-watering. In the evenings, we would go to Jorhat town for seeing all the pandals and their deities and decorations-JPR, railway station, Lakhi sanga, Thakurbari, theatre hall, Lichubari, etc. On Maha Navami, after breakfast we would go out for visiting all the Durga mandirs-RRL, Tarajan and Dewal. On Bijoya Dashami, my mother and other married women would play with sindoor in the pandal and walk around the deities. And we would later join in the competition and fight to get the thread around the deities for tying on our wrists. In the evening jalepis would be bought to mark the end of celebrations.

On the evening of the last day, everything seems to be so melancholic. My mother would say, "Dura Puja had just come, and now it is gone also". And so another year-long wait starts for Mother Durga to come home...

Lyrics of the Devi Stuti - Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu in English Text

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu Vishnu-mayeti sadbita

Namas tasyai, Namas tasyai, Namas tasyai namo namah.
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu buddhi - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu nidra - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu ksudha - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu chhaya - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu sakti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu trisna - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu ksanti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu lajja - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shanti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu Sraddha - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu kanti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu lakshmi - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu vritti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu smriti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu daya - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu tusti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu matri - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai … … …

Meaning in English of the Stuti mantra  Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu

To that goddess who in all beings is called Vishnumaya
Salutations, Salutations, Salutations to Thee, again, and again.

To that goddess who abides in all beings as intelligence : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as sleep : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as hunger : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as reflection : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as power : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as thirst : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as forgiveness : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as modesty : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as peace : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as faith : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as loveliness : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as good fortune : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as activity : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as memory : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as compassion : Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as contentment ; Salutations to Thee, …
To that goddess who abides in all beings as mother : Salutations to Thee, …



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Loved that you dropped by. It would lovely to know how you feel about this post too :)