My Favourite Part of Durga Puja? Remembering the Pujos of My Childhood

Culture

My Favourite Part of Durga Puja? Remembering the Pujos of My Childhood

Illustration: Sushant Ahire

L

ast week, as I listened to the glorious baritone of Birendra Krishna Bhadra on Mahalaya morning, my lungs took in a giant whiff of Durga Puja that was barely days away. Along with the lilting tunes of Mahishasur Mardini, came all the beautiful memories of Durga Pujos past.

I was reminded of the autumn of 1994, when I was a class IV student, giddy with joy. My piggy bank that I had been devotedly filling every single day of the year had just been broken and I had counted ₹80 – all in coins, save a lonely ₹10 note. If you’re a Bong, you know what this meant: One egg roll every day of Pujo. For a little kid, living under the aegis of well-meaning but strict parents, this was no mean feat. It meant that only I got to decide when I would devour that egg roll and where (in which pandal, to be more accurate) I’d buy it, with zero parental intrusion. It was the Durga Pujo (and the independence) of my dreams.

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