Every city has it’s own flavour to add to the Durga Puja celebrations. This time, I was lucky to be in a city, which was once the base of Peshwas of the Maratha Empire. Pune, the city of my childhood memories, has always had an intrinsic connection with literature, art, music and Marathi theater.But sincerely speaking, its the hyperactive & social nature of Bongs which have led to create the Bengali magic in this Youth City of India.
It was Maha-Ashtami. 2:30 p.m. on the clock. Let’s go ! Thanks to my tight schedule of work, it was the third day of Pujo but my first pandal for 2015. Congress Bhavan, Pune, one of the earliest Pujas of Pune had organisers from all over Pune coming together to welcome us all. It was too good an experience to start our Pujo. The lights were glowing, people in the pandal were screaming & the scenes for having a “GALA-TIME” were set.
Congress Bhavan was celebrating the GOLDEN JUBILEE of Bangiya Sanskriti Samsad. As part of the celebrations, Bangiya Sanskriti Samsad (BSS), one of the oldest cultural and social organisations in Pune, was hosting its 76th festival at the Congress Bhavan. While the festival was formally inaugurated by Pune Congress chief Abhay Chhajed on October 19, a Bengali food festival ‘Anando Mala’ was held on October 18. We were late. But still, even on Ashtami, all the delicaices were in place. Congress Bhavan offered authentic Bengali cuisine like kosha mangsho (mutton curry) and luchi (poori), aloo dum and ghugni and sweets like lobongo lotika and sandesh.
The Sandhi puja was going on & even the last few sessions of Anjali were remaining. Yess ! Thank God, we had made it on time. The aarti was going to start at 7.45 pm. The most passionate and over enthusiastic organisers were found here. One of them told me about the cultural events that were going to take place. Apart from the Bengali radio plays and a ballet ‘Synthesis of Melodies’ (played by Marathi and Bengali dancers), the musical recitals of Rabindra Nath Tagore’s songs (which would be sung by students of The Poona School and Home for the Blind Trust) excited me more. I wish I could have waited for all that. But unforunately, time was not on my side. But with whatever time, I had in hand, here are some of the interesting things I could capture
1.The speaker who was completely engrossed in his speeches.
2. The happy purohit who was smiling all the way to distribute flowers for Anjali
3. The man who was blessing the public
4. One out of 108 cup-shaped oil lamps during Sandhi Pujo
5. The senior citizen who was sitting motionless for nearly 10 minutes
6. A Sweet Shop of my name 🙂
7. Attractive dishes to try out