Monday, 28 September 2009

The Magic of Festivities..

With the dawn of the autumn West Bengal and particularly Kolkata gears up to it's festive look...three different celebrations, three different communities, the Durga puja, the Eid, and then the Deepawali, but the spirit of celebrations and the festive mood of the people does not undergo any change. There is now a perspective change in how these three festivals are celebrated specially in Kolkata and especially Durga Pujo, clearly the Biggest of all the Bong Festivals, 5 days of unreined festivities and celebrations.
Kolkata is the city in transmission, it's slowly leaving it's post colonial hangover and it's over enthusiastic celebration of intellect and entering into that rat race of the newly liberalized and slowly globalizing counterparts like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and so on. In the past five years or so numerous shopping plazas have sprouted up in the city and so has the associated umber of commercial ventures. The number of Call centers and Engineering firms and the increased avenues of income generation brought an overwhelming change in the habits and thinking pattern of the ordinary Kolkatans.
The early Kolkatan was a shy, intellectually innovative and introvert kinda guy, the new Kolkatan is raring to go, he now knows his worth and is out to squeeze every bit of his potential into making his lifestyle "happening"... and therefore as a consequence comes a change in how he celebrates.
If someone has been a witness to the celebrations of Kolkata, the reader will agree with me that our parents and gran parents viewed these celebrations as being great family occasions where long lost cousins would all gather under one roof and celebrate the essence of the occasion which were in the main strictly restricted to being religious. Though the festivals had much to do with enjoyment, still "religion" got to play a big role.
Now these have changed, first and foremost in an age of computers, the old timed pujo Holidays are a thing of past, you can always keep in touch with the big guy in Amsterdam through your Notebook, there's nothing like the old "Pujor chuti"... secondly long lost cousins aren't same anymore, they might just be your favorite Facebook pal, more closer to u than your own sibling, and "religion", ok anyone who says the word is a huge bigamist.... Nowadays the "new Kolkatan" celebrates in shopping malls, they munch on Mac chickens and KFC buckets, wear Nike and Reebok, are big on designer kurtas and choli blouses,Manish Malhotras and Shania NC are in vogue, they binge on Fosters and Colas and once in a while and if they are lucky they do still manage to go around that "happening" Pujo which attracts the sexiest "babes" and the handsome "hunks"....
The khichuri, pore bhaja, Luchi, begun bhaja routine has long been tossed up for the pizza CCD and Barista routine. Yes some still do the all night "pandal hopping" thing but how much Pandal hopping and how much beer guzzling happens is anyone's guess.
Oh and before i forget, the Mahaashtami's anjuli has become a "Ma, mashi" thing, it's just not happening enough... today is Dashmi...Devi Durga will be immersed with the hope that we'll get to see her again the year next but whether the mode of festivities change or the place of gathering, one thing is certain , the spirit will never be gone, whether one is in City Centre or in a sarbojonin Durga utsav the essence of celebration will always remain, this the the magic of festivities, atleast in Kolkata... Jai Dugga.