Durga Puja: A holy ‘affair’

Come the festive season and all our faces light up with joy and excitement and we start planning about what all we can do. It is again that time of the year now when the festivities are just round the corner.

Navaratri or Durga puja as all the ‘bongs’ call it marks the beginning of about two-three months long season of celebrations with different festivals like Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas lined up one after the other.

Durga puja or just ‘Pujo’ for Bengalis is not just a day long festival but a 5 day long ‘affair’. When I say affair, I mean it quite literally here as those magnificent pujo pandals with larger than life idols of Maa Durga and her various avatars not only house colourful artefacts, bright and vibrant lights, delicious looking food stalls which brings water in your mouth, but also becomes a viable spot where teenage love blossoms.

For all those college going girls or boys who are on the lookout for a prospective partner, these pujo pandals work as the perfect place.

All the girls look pretty, draped in vibrant coloured chiffons or Kolkata special cotton sarees, and their eyes highlighted with deep black kohl. Though they appear grossly involved in the rituals, they somehow manage to look from the corner of their eyes and find out if any guy has been mesmerised by their looks. Similarly, the boys dressed in silk kurta pyjama or kurta jeans are on the lookout for the girls who would be interested in them.

“Our journey together started from the Kalibari Pujo in 2009. We met at the pujo pandal for the first time. We bumped into each other on Mahashtami after pushpanjali when both of us were trying to get hold of a chair to sit. Coincidentally, we both got our hands onto the same chair. I allowed her to take the chair but she took away my heart too’, said kollol with a broad smile on his face.

“I know I looked so pretty that you couldn’t take your eyes off me”, said Ishita bursting into laughter. We are happily married for 5 years now and we also have a 2 year old daughter. For us, pujo pandal played a very significant role in helping us find each other.”

“Every year I go to puja pandals to check out beautiful bengali girls. The best part is you get to see so many of them, “said Ishaan who has just finished his economics honours from Delhi university.

Nihira who is pursuing English journalism from IIMC, Delhi recalls, ” I went to Chittaranjan Park last year for my college assignment and I met Aneesh there for the first time. Our eyes met at a pandal there and we are dating each other since then.” Puja pandals are one of the most viable places where you can meet your girlfriend or boyfriend, she added.

So all those young people out there who want to update their Facebook status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’, can go and try your luck at the puja pandal near you this year.

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