It’s common knowledge that Bengalis don’t know how to stay calm. From cricket to football, rosogollas, Hilsa fish, they’re hyped about everything. So, you can only imagine the level of excitement they attain when they find out that Maa Durga is around the corner, along with all her children.
And the euphoria in any area with Bongs around is so infectious that even non-Bengalis can’t help but join in on the fun. However, while Bengalis know what to do to have the maximum amount of enjoyment, others waste a lot of time learning the deets. So, if you’re one of them, do you want a crash course on how to have an amazing Durga Puja?
Then, here are the 10 must-do things for Durga Puja 2018 that you can’t miss even if your life depended on it:
1. Pandals, protimas and repeat.
Pandal-hopping is a must because it’s a culmination of amazing handiwork and lighting to create these temporary castles. And the exquisite artistry that goes into creating the idols is something you should never miss. But I guess you already know that. That’s why here’s a secret. In order to avoid the traffic jams, visit the pandals that are far away during the early hours of the day and keep the ones that are nearby for the night. You can thank me later.
2. Dhaker taale komor dole, khushite naache mon.
While it must be annoying for those who hate waking up early, it’s so relieving to rise to the rhythm of the dhak every morning for five straight days. It’s like a gentle reminder that Maa is still here and the holidays aren’t over yet. So, make sure you stick by the dhakis because they often enter a trance-like state and play so beautifully that it’ll give you goosebumps. And if you want to go a step further, play the dhak yourself. If you ask them politely, I’m sure they’ll oblige.
3. Vincent Van who? He’s no match for our very own alpona artists.
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The city of joy is all decked up for Durga Pujo! Are you? 😍 Absolutely gorgeous ♥️ this alpona is. _ 📸Shot on GoPro Hero 6 Black @goproin @gopro || #GoPro #GoProIndia #GetOutside #ExperienceDifferent || _ #ig_calcutta #shutter_bong #natgeotravellerindia #streetphotographyindia #zonestreet #durgapuja #culture #india_undiscovered #_soi #incredibleindia #durga #lonelyplanetindia #kolkata #india #indiapictures #inspiroindia #photooftheday #desi_diaries #streetart #colors
If you happen to pass through a road, street or a local puja, you’ll probably notice a sprawling piece of art. That’s what we call an alpona. Traditionally, it was made out of a rice and flour paste, but now they’ve upgraded to synthetic materials to make them all the more gorgeous. However, make sure you adore them from a distance and avoid stepping on it because if you do, you’ll have to face the wrath of everyone.
4. Dhuti-panjabi for boys and sarees for girls.
All the millennials will probably run and hide at the very mention of these two kinds of apparel. And rightfully so because it’s really difficult to wear it and then move around in them. But to truly take in the essence of Durga Puja, you have to wear it. Trust me, the elders will be prouder than they would be if you got a job with a million-dollar monthly salary.
5. Experiencing the brilliance of Nerolac’s Durga Puja special murals.
Unveiling of Nerolac Paints – India Shera Para Shera Pujo 10,000 Square Feet Maa Durga Mural Painting
RJ Neil – Red FM ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಸೋಮವಾರ, ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 8, 2018
For the last four years, Nerolac has conducted the ‘Shera Para, Shera Pujo‘ programme and this year they wanted to give back joy to the city of joy. That’s why its 2018 edition involves a Maa Durga mural-painting competition in Kolkata. The promotional mural for ‘Shera Para, Shera Pujo‘ has been unveiled by renowned Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta, on a larger than life 10,000 sq. ft. facade at the Peerless Inn. And now 300 paras are going to take part in this event and make some of the best Maa Durga murals. So, don’t forget to stop and look at them in the city during your pandal-hopping session.
6. Chaat, gol-gappe, jhaal-muri, bhaja and more.
What’s Durga Puja without street food? Seriously? You’re bound to find hoards of street-vendors in front of the pandals. So hit all of them and just gobble up as much as you can. It’s the only time of the year where you can forget about your diet. What’s that I hear? Something about hygiene? Well, what are they making those Digene tablets for?
7. Take a break from ‘Dance India Dance’ and witness the dhunuchi naach.
I’m pretty sure that you’ve seen Tiger Shroff leaping through the air and dance to ‘Beat Pe Booty’. But all that pales in comparison to the para‘s (community) uncles or aunties taking a dhunuchi in each hand and burning the dance floor to the beats of the dhak. And just to make things more toofani they might even hold one in their mouth. Do you really want to miss that sight?
8. Eat as much bhog as you can, no one’s going to raise an eyebrow.
This is probably one of the only times in the year where you won’t mind an all veggie meal. Because when that ghee-laden khichdi combines with the labra and the tomato chutney, you’ll attain nirvana. Oh and that’s not all. There are papad, pakodas and rosogollas on the menu as well.
9. What’s Durga Puja without a Bengali movie.
Much like Bhai loves to release a movie on Eid and Lucasfilms likes to release a Star Wars movie on Christmas, Bengali film-makers are always on the lookout for that coveted Durga Puja release. And even if you haven’t watched a single Bengali movie all year, there’s something special about watching one during Puja. So, check your nearby theatre and book a ticket with your family and friends.
10. Welcoming Maa Durga and bidding her adieu.
To be honest, these are the most arduous tasks during the entire Durga Puja ceremony. The idols are heavy, your muscles are way too soft and you just want one more rosogolla. However, when you pick Maa up with your bros beside you and “bolo Durga Mai ki joi” on your lips, you’ll feel complete.
So, get your game face on and celebrate Durga Puja with these tips in mind.