Yes, its the sound of the dhaak, that makes each Bengali nostalgic about Poojo. The smell of the dhuno, the chandipath during the poojas, the new clothes, the new shoes we have been waiting to wear.....its an entire childhood experience that we have grown with and lived it year after year. Poojo's, something we all look forward to.
Its this time of the year I miss my Dad the most. He would always stand out as the most die hard Bengali in his signature Pristine white Dhotis and Kurtas which were starched well but not stiff. His entire presence spelt out the proverbial "Dada". Those lovely evenings, we would wait for him to get back from the shoot. He would invariably have one during that time of the year much to my Mother's disapproval. My sisters would get all dressed and I was the first to get dressed and would love to observe the meticulous details with which they did their eyes. I wished I could apply some of that too. I was told young kids look best with their natural splendour. (I use that on my daughter now.) Those were fun days of family and togetherness. My father always believed in women power and it was no surprise that he was a great follower of the Mother Goddess Durga.
During his time of physical trial, he kept praying to her.The last few days he just chanted her name. She did respond to his call and it was on the first day of the Pooja, namely the Shoshti, when she responded to his call. When the idols were all entering their respective abodes for the next five days, she chose to relieve him of his pain. It was a difficult few years for us. We could not step into another pooja pandaal for a good few years. Then I met Rony, soon we got married. Pooja now was again a family affair. However the family I married into respected my wishes to stay away from the poojos on shoshti. I keep that day strictly to just remember what those good times were like when we were a family of five. I continue with that tradition to this date. I do look forward to the poojas knowing that he is with his favorite "Ma". While doing so we too are creating memories for our children for them to grow up and remember. Our children too will grow upto cherish these five days of total fun, food and splendour.