“O, Jayanti, Mangala, Kali, Bhadrakali, Kapalini, Durga, Shiva, Khama, Dhatri, Swaha, Shwadha, my earnest dedication to you all. Ma Durga, salutation to thee!”
At the conclusion of each mantra, pushpa, flowers were offered at the Goddess’ feet.
Shanti just loved the overall feel and smell of Durga Pujo, replete with the incense of Dhoop-dhuno, flowers, folks adorned in new clothes and jewellery and the heavenly rhythm of the dhak.
Having offered pushpanjali, Shanti ate the prasad being distributed with great relish. He then slowly limped down the stairs onto the road where food stalls and makeshift cafes were vying with each other to attract the Pujo visitors with snacks. Shanti had fasted since morning to offer his anjali and now looked forward to having his customary Mughlai paratha, peas ghoogni and a soft drink.
That evening Bina’s condition worsened. It was almost as if she had been waiting for this day.
Snippet: Durga puja at New Delhi Kalibari started in 1925. mainly by the Indian Babus who had relocated from Kolkata to Delhi with the British administartion. Kali Bari continues to follow the traditional ekchalar thakur and sholar kaaj.
The Kali Bari Durga Puja features in the story, ‘Ashtami’, part of my forthcoming book ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’. Should you wish to receive exclusive previews and the chance of winning a free copy of the book, do write to me @ email@example.com
4 thoughts on “Ashtami @ New Delhi Kali Bari”
so lavish and colourful; it looks like a happy religion 🙂
Thank you for bringing this perspective here.
Religion, at its essence, is related to happiness or should be. Having said that, Ashtami, a part of the Durga Puja festival, is as much a social as a religious event.
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I do not know much this brilliant civilisation . So , I thank you to discover it.
Hi Fauquet Michel,
Thank you for visiting and providing this comment.
The Indian civilisation is one of the oldest, and may I hazard to add, one of the founding civilisation in the world. Modern humans seem to have first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Taking advantage of an exceptionally fertile land and tropical climate, the humans who arrived, quickly transitioned from foraging to farming and pastoralism, around 7,000 BCE.
The Indus Valley Civilization, an early civilization of the Old world, which was contemporaneous with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, flourished between 2,500 BCE and 1900 BCE in what today is Pakistan and north-western India and was noted for its urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage, and water supply.