It’s again that time of the year when Benagli’s are just all gearing Pujo for the biggest event of their life –THE DURGA PUJA
Amongs all the fun and frolic the Pujo hold for one and all of us bonedi barir pujo has different charm and here I am talking about one such Pujo Bari in Central Kolkata- THE MALLICK BARI er pujo
The grand Durga Puja has been celebrated by the successors of Bihari Lal Mallick since 159 years. Since 1853 the traditions of the pujo has been retained along with the same flavor as it was there years back. The Durga Puja of Mallick Bhawan is unique with its traditional approach.
Maa Durga arrives at our home the next day after Mahalaya and her arrival starts the Devipaksha. Our Maa has smiling face with a charm in her eyes ( Mrinmoyee). On the left of Maa Durga , Kartika and Saraswati are being articulated and on the right , Laxmi and Ganesh exist.
The artisans who have been making our idols has always continued to do it for years for our home and so are the Dhakis who come every year without fail to charm us with there their Dhak er Taal. Sonar saaje sajono is what our decoration of Devi pratima is all about.
The decoration of the Durgadalan, puja rituals are distinct in style. This puja had been observed with spectacle and dignity .
The lavishness of puja has only increased over the years along with it’s sanctity and devotion. On Soshti ‘Bodhon’ rituals when Goddess Durga is unveiled. Our priest ceremonially establishes life in the clay image and from now on till the tenth day, the image is treated as the goddess herself.
Saptami marks the first day of Festival when Kola Bow or Nabapatrika is given a pre-dawn bath on the ghats of Ganga. This is an ancient ritual of worshiping nine types of plants. They are together worshiped as a symbol of the goddess.
Then follows the Maha Ashtami commences with Ashtami Puja , followed by Arati and Puspanjali.Kumari Pujo and Sodoba Pujo marks as special rituals for that day along with Dhuno porano”,where my kaki (aunt) hold burning Malsas on their palms and head. This is one time of the year when the whole family comes under one roof and love and laughter fill the air. Every face has a happy feel and live only means pandal hooping those few days.
During Sandhi Puja , the entire courtyard of Mallick bhwan is filled with hymns of spiritual Mantras. As the days pass with rejoice and happiness Doshomi comes when Maa has to go back to her husband’s home.
With tears in our eyes and hope in our heart we wait for her for another year screaming to glory“joy durga mai ki, asschye bochor abar hobe”, “bochor bochor abar hobe”