My very first Durga Pujo!
Being married to a Bengali, I started celebrating Durga Pujo from the year 2008; my very first Durga Pujo which I attended was in Vashi … Wow!! what an amazing experience it was!! Huge & elaborately crafted statutes of Goddess Durga, Lord Ganesha, Lord Karthikeya, Goddess Lakshmi; Goddesses Saraswati are installed in beautifully decorated in multicolored Shamiana and the designs are feast for the eyes. Colored lights are put up on all the parks and streets and these too rise to great artistic heights. Dynamic light effects could depict stories of battles, of animals walking and running, games being played or, even rockets taking off!
Durga Puja is celebrated during the last five days of Navratri. It is referred to as Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Nabami and Bijoya Dashami. Ashtami is the most significant and auspicious day where we need to fast till we offer Pushpanjali (offering flowers) along with Chanting Pushpanjali mantra which we have to repeat after pandit moshay (panditji) in the Puja Pandal.
Durga Puja in Mumbai is very jazzy and bright, the time when we decide to give denims a miss and switch to the traditional sari & kurta pajama. The custom is parents buy new clothes for their children & everybody takes to the puja pandals in their new gear looking tradionally kool!!
Yes Durga Puja pandals also have lots and lots of mouth-watering food which we can gorge upon after offering pushpanjali. The variety is enormous and the most popular being Vegetable Chop (Trust me it’s yummy) & Good old rolls. Bhog that is served after Puja is mind-blowing too… I have not had such a tasty food elsewhere! May be because it is Bhog!!
Some of the prominent Puja Pandal’s that we visit every year & recommend all of you visit as well :)
Shivaji Park, Dadar: Most Authentic Pujo Here you get to witness the most traditional Kumari Puja. The ritual is only practiced in rural Bengal. And this is the only venue in the city where you come across.
Santacruz Puja: If you are keen on celebrity spotting, visit the Santacruz puja, organized by the famous Mukherjee family — Rani Mukherjee, Kajol and Tanuja especially... and of course their celebrity friends.
DN Nagar (Andheri W) Puja: One of the most opulent pandals huge gigantic. Of course the food (bhog) here is outstanding. Here too u can find celebrities, last year I got to see Ashwariya & Jaya Bachan who offered pushpanjali along with us.
Lokhandwala Durga Puja: Organized by singer Abhijeet the art work here is stupendous, the most innovative & popular Durga Puja pandal in Mumbai.
Durga Puja is also an extremely social and theatrical event. Drama, dance & cultural performances in the evenings are one of the major attractions which we look forward to.
Ma Durga is omnipresent as the embodiment of power & intelligence, let her bring peace & wealth to all family & friends
"Om Jayanti, Mangala, Kali, Bhadrakali, Kapalini. Durga, Shiba, Kshama, Dhatri, Swaha, Swadha Namahstu Te. Esha Sachandana Gandha Pushpa Bilwa Patranjali, Om Hrring Durgaoi Namah!"