When the Bengali awakens…

In September-October Bengali houses are dusted, broomed, cleaned. Clothes in cupboards are put in the sun. They get warm through the day and in the afternoon, the lady of the house brings them inside from the terrace, fold them neatly and put them back in the cupboard. Same treatment to the blankets and cushions.

The weather outside is warm, the sky is blue after the monsoons. White specks of clouds float all over the sky. If you go farther into the countryside, by the river, you would see kash flowers in all their glory, swaying their heads in the riverside breeze. Durga puja is coming.

This would by second Durga Puja away from home since I came to Bangalore. Needless to say, Durga Puja signify times of great celebration to the Bengali mind. When I was in Bengal, my awareness and appreciation of Bengali culture was minimal. Now, I remember the smallest rituals my parents maintained.

On Diwali, my mother would have us get jackfruit leaves. On the jackfruit leaves, earthen lamps were lit with oil and wick. Every Diwali evening, my brother would light tiny electric lamps in wires, and I would set candles throughout our balcony. This time I would go home just after Diwali. The air would be full with a chill. The houses in my neighbourhood would still sport the little lamps – remnants of Diwali celebration.

Life in Bangalore is different. You wake up. If it’s  a weekday, you get ready for office. You go to work, take calls, do the daily chore, come home jaded, either have dinner or do something on your phone and then sleep. On a weekend, you don’t go to office, but go somewhere else, see some movie, cook something nice and go to sleep. I wish I could break the routine. That’s something I liked about last week. I was sick with fever, had trouble getting up and had to take leave. It felt good to be home on a weekday, when the house was silent. I dreaded the time when everyone would be back and the house would be chirping again.

A lonely September afternoon is a very personal thing. You can simply watch the trees from the balcony, watch the squirrels play in the trees, read a book and watch at the vast blue sky. Not a worry in life.

Wish I could add some meaning in my life – do something different.

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About Arpita

Arpita Pramanick is a little, young woman with a bright face (who'd rather not look directly into a stranger's eye) you'll find walking on the corridors of Mu Sigma, Inc. She tells herself she wants to be a properly published writer (by which she means she wants to be published from the likes of Penguin), but isn't really so sincere about writing everyday. So if you see her, tell her to go write. She'll love you for doing that!
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5 Responses to When the Bengali awakens…

  1. Carmineberyl says:

    A good piece of writing! The old Durga Puja flavour that never really manages to get old. The more we get out of it, the hungrier we become 😀 Hope you are better now. Take good care of yourself, dear.

    Like

  2. Hope you’re feeling better. Have you been to Atta Galatta. If not that could be something different, right? I would love to attend a Durga Puja someday. It is huge in some parts of Delhi, but Bengal would be something else altogether. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. I haven’t tried many eateries yet. I was considering those recently.

      Of course, Durga puja in Bengal would be something really spectacular. You can try this time (in Delhi, assuming that’s where you’re based?) if it is convenient – next week is when it starts… let me know how you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your last line “Wish I could add some meaning in my life – do something different” grabbed my attention the most. Maybe you could try your hand at falling in love!

    Liked by 1 person

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