Treasure Island

Jasbir Chatterjee

(4 March 1966 / Delhi)

Durga Puja


The festival of Durga Puja was drawing to a close…
The red carpets were being rolled up,
The poles were being pulled out,
The tents were being removed,
And broken pieces of thermocol lay strewn around
Like pieces of luggage…

Ma Durga stood in a corner
With her family and the wily Mahishasur
In a posture of steely resolve and quiet determination,
Serene and calm…
Determined to continue her journey
From this earthly mess into the divine, the infinite…

We had our lunch and trickled out in small groups…
Some wore wry smiles on their faces,
Feeling let down, disappointed…
One of them said, "Pujo shesh hoye jache, Puja is going to be over."
Some wore distant, faraway, brooding expressions on their faces,
Feeling sad, morose…
One of them said, "No, I will not go for the bisarjon, amar mon khub kharab hoye jabe, it would be too painful."
Some younger ones were bubbling with enthusiasm,
Optimistic, excited…
One of them said, "Of course, I will go for the bisarjon; next year Ma Durga abar ashbe, will come again, grander, stronger, more beautiful."

With a heavy heart and weary legs, I turned around,
Picked up our luggage, caught hold of my daughter's hand…
Together we walked away,
Quite overcome by the frenzy of the moment…

Submitted: Saturday, November 03, 2012

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