Dear Navratri celebrating North Indian,
Since years I get this look when I say or cook fish during Navratri, “Arrey baap re, you are having non-veg”, followed by “these 9 days we don’t even touch garlic or onion” which implies that I am doing a sin.
Once a lady tested my patience by surmising, “What kind of puja you Bengalis do. You eat non-veg and say that it is your puja”, I actually had no answer to this judgmental behavior but seethed in anger and snapped, “We are like this only….totally wasted people”, her ego and intelligence seemed satisfied.
I am a Bengali. Guys, please accept it once and for all. Don’t give me dirty looks and act surprised when I say I eat non veg during Navratri. Your Navratri is my Durga Puja and for Bengali people it is a celebration time. We eat only non-veg during Durga Puja and not only that we even sell non-veg food in or near our pandals .
I am not committing any sin or blasphemy. Our Maa Durga, the Bengali version of Durga has happily given us permission not to be on fast. She loves to see us happy.
And if you may know Bengali ladies also keep fast and eat vegetarian on Soshti and Aashtmi. We are on fast till we perform morning pushpanjali. We serve only vegetarian food as prasad or bhog. So we are not that bad after all. Though I don’t need to justify but I thought you might like to know.
For Kolkata Bengali’s who are thinking what gibberish I am talking about because this concept is alien to them? Let me explain. In North India, people celebrate Navratri, same Goddess Durga, almost same Sanskrit mantras, and same reverence only with a minuscule difference – Vegetarian food and fasting.
So, Bengali people who eat meat during Navratri are looked down upon.
A sincere request, it is our way of celebration which is totally certified by our learned Brahmin purohits. So stop judging me and my ways of prayer and dare not give me the looks.
Non-vegetarian eating Bengali
This blog was first published on Travel By Karma here.