India as a whole has become ‘culturalized’. Gone are the days, where a festival is only celebrated in a particular region or state, now be it any festival it is celebrated with the same enthusiasm and joy as it is in the so called ‘home’ state of the festival. Likewise it is not that Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated only in Maharashtra, I have been to Kota, Rajasthan during Ganpati Visarjan and there were a large number of devotees who came to bid adieu Lord Ganesha, likewise Durga Puja is no more a Kolkata or Bong festival. I went to Kolkata last year during Puja, did Pandal Hopping and had the best trip of my life. Now here in Gurgaon, Delhi NCR, I visited the Pandal organized by Sushant Lok Durga Puja Committee, and I must say they remind me of Kolkata. I relived all those Kolkata memories.
After office, had a quick dinner and dashed into the nearest Pandal, with my camera. The Pandal was located in a ground, right behind my house. Outside the ground, I saw many small vendors, selling toys, ice-creams and chanas(a light snack). On my way to the main Pandal, I could see many food stalls from most of the famous food outlets in the city like, Shree Shyam Ji Ke Mashoor Chole Bhature, Kathi Roll, Tunday Kababi, Puchkas, Biryani, Jalebi, etc. It was difficult to resist the temptation seeing all the delicious food items but I walked inside to have a look at the best part of the Pandal.
They had this big neon colored hut shaped structure inside which idols were placed. Right in front of this was a small matka and tokri rangoli kind of decoration on the floor. Had they put small LED bulbs onto the rangoli it would have really enhanced it.
The idol had a blue and silver color theme, very bright combination. The make up done on the idol was simple but elegant. Idols of Lord Ganesh, Mahishasur and other Goddesses were also very beautiful.
There was a beautifully decorated Kalash and an Agarbatti (incense stick) stand kept near the Idol. Even the blue and green lights pointing over idols, enhanced the beauty of the Pandal.
Pandit Ji sat right next to the donation box and lights on the stage. He was chatting and enjoying the company of the people. Many camera enthusiasts like me were clicking Pandal pictures, selfies. Many people were seeking blessings from Durga Maa.
There were many stalls, which were selling Kolkata’s famous products like Sarees, suits, bags and cosmetics. Didn’t ask the prices but they were looking nice.
There was also some program going, which was exclusively for committee members, to my guess, it was some singing and dancing program, in which the committee members were performing. Nice programme, efficiently organised by the Sushant Lok Durga Puja Committee. I would suggest them to put an LCD screen outside for non-members.
While I was clicking pictures found few great things like:
1 Bunch of guys who came to me and said “bhaiya ek photo khichlo hamari”. I was glad that they were happy to see their picture.
2. A small kid, screaming, don’t know why.
3 A kid enjoying the Puja on his carrier
4. Paan on the brick of ice.
5. The selfie corner
6. Beautiful bangles.
7. The legendary ‘HEAD’ of Shree Shyam Ji’s, as his worker called him when I was taking pictures of Chole bhature stall.
8 Tunday Kababi. Looked Yum
9.And the best was family selfies. Feel of Aww…