Friday, October 9, 2009

Poojo in Kolkata

Poojo is the time when Kolkata is at its best and brightest. I had an opportunity to be here at this special time and in this special city. I came out one morning and noticed everybody dressed in new clothes (It was then that it struck me that Poojo had started). It was holiday even in the post office and railway ticket reservation centres.

The city usually known fr not being as clean ws just the opposite. The same old yellow taxi's added added turmeric to a tasty recipe for a deeply cultural experience. The whole city was smoothly managed by the famous Kolkata Police. even while handling unimaginable volumes of crowds the policemen were very polite in handling and giving directions to the people.

There was an amazing camaraderie amongst the people. Even where the crowd was dense, there was very little pushing, jostling and overtaking cues.

Now lets come to the Pandals. There is one at every turn you take. Work for the pandals starts 6-8 months in advance. There is an unparalleled display of artistry, imagination and devotion. So much so, tht after seeing a couple of them I had difficulty in distinguishing the pandals from the real buildings & had to touch some of them to confirm. The chandeliers were particularly brilliant. most pandals are designed around themes like, statue of liberty, parliament, hut, boat, kailash parwat etc.

Poojo provides livelihood to numerous artists, craftsmen, pandits & musicians etc. it may be the reason why so many of the traditional occupations are still alive in there original forms.

PS: If you really want to see the pandals in peace & in detail then start 2 days before poojo begins. These poojos are of 2 types 1) Private family poojo's (some of which are quite famous); 2) public Poojo's of different colonies, parts, communities, streets or lanes of the city.


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