Hi all. I have been busy. Finally I got time to write about one of the grand and exciting Pujas. Being a bengali, i have always enjoyed Durga Puja. My non-bengali friends were not allowed to have meat during these days. And I could eat it anytime i would want. Bengalis are food lovers. They have faith in god, they celebrate, they don’t fear god, they love god. There are no rules to have faith in GOD. We are free to make our own choice.
It is a time when everyone is busy shopping. For each day we buy a pair of dress, one for the morning half and another for the second half. And then comes the time when the ladies show off their newly bought sarees and accessories.
I have stayed 16 years in Delhi. There are many Bengali communities there which organize Puja. The most famous is of C.R. Park. But this time i was in Chennai during my Durga Puja days. As Durga Puja is not very famous here, i could not find a single person who would know where it is organized. I searched for the same in Google. I found in some article that it is organized in a few places like Navalur, T Nagar, Besant Nagar. Immediately I planned to visit.
I went to T Nagar. It was the first time I went outside Sholinganallur in my two months’ stay. I took a bus as suggested by some of my friends. I started from Sholinganallur at around 11 a.m. I took the bus 19B. It was a AC bus, but it was very crowded. Maybe because of festive season. Everyone was going to their native place. I finally got a seat. It took me almost an hour to reach their. T Nagar was the last stop. I crossed the road and the HUGE market started.
I must say, the owner of Sarvana chain is really rich. 80% of the markets are owned by him. I entered the Sarvana Steel store. I must say it is a BIG shop. 3 floors filled with steel utensils. They have so many utensils that they don’t have space on floor to keep them and have filled the ceiling with utensils too! I went inside and it took me an hour to come out of that place. They have every steel item imaginable. Then I went inside the market. It is similar to Sarojini Nagar market. The items are cheap, but not of very good quality. But markets like Pothys, Nalli are good for purchasing saree.
I searched for Durga Maa everywhere in T Nagar, but couldn’t find her. I came back. Next day I again browsed the net and finally found that there is a Bengali Association in Besant Nagar which organizes Puja. I went their the next day. I took the cab this time as I was wearing a traditional dress and didn’t want to spoil it. I reached their in half an hour. The pandal was adjacent to the bus depot.
I am not a very religious person, but I enjoy festivals. I went their. The aarti was going on. I participated in the same. hen i ate the bhog(prasaad). The pandal had many stalls serving different Bengali dishes. I ordered Kosha maangsho(Mutton) with rice. I ate the complete thing as I had not been near Bengali style non veg food since i have come to Chennai. We are not supposed to cook non veg in our PG. The food was very good. I felt like eating everything, but i was full. I roamed around the place. It was a good experience.