This Is How She Visited Ekdalia Evergreen Pujo Sitting In Texas On A Nabami Night
“No, nothing of that sort. It’s just another Monday morning over here,” she reluctantly replied to her friend, quietly sipping the coffee which had turned cold by then.
“Okay babe. Gotta go. My guy is waiting downstairs. Thakur dekhte berobo. It’s already evening here you see. BTW, do check out my new saree.”
1 image received.
Not caring to open the image, she slid her phone in her bag. Taking the ‘Libra’ coffee mug, she walked out of her office building into the sophisticated lawn of Deison Technology Park. The sun shone at its brightest, gently warming up her face, while the cold wind brushed her hair strands, coaxing them to fall on her face. Opening her golden sandals to touch the grass, her copper colored bangles clinked against each other as she neatly adjusted the ends of her beige colored kurti – embroidered in brown, teamed with a matching brown leggings. Copper earrings dangled from her ears. She had always been very particular about her apparels and accessories, and this one was way too special; her parents had spent a bomb just to send this to her. International courier charges were way too expensive.
She checked the date in her phone. It’s Nabami today. Pujo was almost over. Her first year away from Kolkata, in fact India itself, she could only check her watch at regular intervals, mentally convert it into IST and visualize the happenings in her city.
Perhaps Ekdaliya Evergreen Club is jam packed by now, one half of the Rashbehari Avenue-Gariahat stretch would have been made available for the pedestrians. The shehnai playing in the loudspeakers would have been frequently interrupted by announcements from the club officials, urging everyone to maintain queue while visiting the pandal. The little kid at the footpath would have been selling balloons and plastic whistles. Wonder which band is playing tonight at Ballygunje Cultural. Maa said that Deshapriya Park is closed because of some stampede and people are now trying to catch a glimpse of the 100 ft idol from Priya Cinemas’ building. It’s evening there right? The streets would have been lit up, hoardings ranging from Coca-Cola to Rajnigandha Paan Masala would have covered both sides of the streets. Payal is out for Pandal hopping with her boyfriend, while Trisha, her roommate from college is frantically checking-in at every puja pandal that she’s visiting.
She missed offering the Ashtami Anjali with her parents, wearing the ‘taant er sari’. She missed gorging on the Luchi-Kosha Mangsho-Chatni-Roshogolla at her para. She will miss tomorrow’s sindur-khela wearing the ‘laal-paar-shaada sari’. This was the time she looked forward to the most. Her city would be decked up as a new bride. For her Durgapujo was not just a 5 day festival, it was also about food and friends, fun and frolic, letting go of all the miseries and sinking in the supremely positive vibe that the city emitted. It was about the fuchkawala who gave 5 pieces for ten rupees, instead of 6 pieces at the same rate. It was also about that taxi driver, with whom she haggled for fifty rupees. It was about the smile of that old beggar in the next lane for whom she brought the Nabami lunch from her para. Till last year, her Nabami evenings were reserved only for him. They would meet after lunch after which they would cover all the major pujas in South Kolkata, till their feet surrendered. Maddox Square had always been their last destination. Oh, and biriyani was a must have item for them – biriyani with an egg and a huge piece of aloo.
A loud buzz rudely dumped her mind back to the sprawling tech park in Texas. A Skype call. “Why is he calling me on Skype? He never does that.” She disconnected the call.
“Busy. Talk to you later.” She texted back.
“I don’t care. You’ve got to see this.”
The phone buzzed again. Reluctantly she received the Skype video call.
The phone’s loudspeaker screamed of blowing conch shells, ringing bells and the oh-so-familiar tune of Dhaak, as the three-eyed ten-handed Goddess and her children lit up her mobile screen. Few seconds later, the mobile camera panned away from the Goddess to the chandelier that hung from the center of the pandal.
“Ekdalia Evergreen. Dekhte paccho?” he screamed from behind the camera. She was visibly stupefied.
“Nabami will always be reserved for you. No matter what. Ebar cholo Singhi Park jai…” he shouted with excitement, thousands of miles away.
She was back to her city again.
Latest posts by dattatreya (see all)
- This Is How She Visited Ekdalia Evergreen Pujo Sitting In Texas On A Nabami Night - September 22, 2016