Next Friday, today, will be Mahalaya.
The day, Pitripokkho ends and ushers in Devi Paksha.
How many of us have seen the man we listen to in the wee hours of the day we call Mahalaya?...
How many of us have seen the man on whose voice we grew up?
Welll, here is Birendra Krishna Bhadro, the man with the rich baritone, the man with whom we begin Durga pujo.
Mahalaya is never complete without him.
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16 days away....whoa...!
Pujo maney thakur dekha….raat jege thakur dekha…line diye thakur dekha….
Durga Pujo is synonymous with pandal hopping and staying up the whole night visiting pandals. But, these days I seemed to have had enough of this pandal hopping. The traffic snarls in Kolkata, the long queues, trudging kilometers on foot is no longer a good idea. And, after staying up the whole night, the next day is spent in a haze of lethargy!Also with various awards and compet...
Many years ago, I was a little girl studying in fourth standard. We had gone visiting our paternal grandparents. My grandfather was a doctor and was not keeping in good health. Besides my grandmother, his staff took turns to care for him. The compounder, the head nurse, the pharmacist were all actively involved.
One of them was an elderly lady, whom we knew as Parul Di ( dida). A beautiful lady, a 'baal bidhoba', (child widow) , she was the head nurse. She would assist my gr...andfather in every case. Dominating and at times rude, no one dared to meddle with her.
Parul di played an important role as she supervised Dadubhai's care.
After he passed away, she took it upon herself to lay down rules for the mourning period. The dress code for our parents, the ashuddhi ( impurity) customs, the rituals to be performed....all were set by her. And no one dared to question her or object.
She would be the first to wake up and the last to sleep. While everyone slept, she would get up and take a stroll, only to check whether everyone was following her dictats.
A true dictator, she kept a hawk's eye on each of one us and made life hell for those thirteen days of mourning.
A septuagenarian, tall, slender and fair, a Roman nose which jutted out against her thin frame and held the round, Gandhi specs in place, crisply starched and pleated Bengal cotton in white, she would occupy the leather armchair and on her lap would be Benimadhob Sheel's ponjika. The Panji or the Bengali Almanac never left her. That probably made up for the child she never had. Yes, she was childless and had adopted a little boy. The boy grew up,took over her property and drove her out. But, nothing tamed the mean streak in her.
We, the kids, hated her. We called her Paanji pishi ( the aunt with the almanac).
The end of the thirteen day mourning period saw the end of Paanji Pishi's reign. My grandmother in a polite, but, stern way, told her to take leave of the family.
I discovered my love for the Ponjika/ Paanji during my stay in Delhi. I located a vendor in CR Park and bought myself one. My mother and grandmother, over the phone, taught me how to read it. Since then,it has never left me. Besides all the essentials, Benimadhob babu is always with me. Yes, no one will ever find me without the Paanji.
Today, I am known as the Paanji Pishi in the family.
Hope this clarifies the logic behind the change in name. Bangla Calendar was vague, I feel.
Also,I intend to write posts more regularly hence forth.
There is logic behind every superstition.
Elephants living peacefully in the forests with their family members are captured and made to live like circus animals in temples.
When a western company manuf...actured slippers with Lord Ganesha's image, people protested it as disrespect.
If you want to really respect elephants, remove them from temple captivity and release them into forest camps.
Lord Krishna's birthday is celebrated with much joy and fanfare. As a tribute, devotees pour litres of milk over his statues at every temple all over India. Wouldn't it be better if people show their devotion by feeding poor children with that milk, instead of washing statues ?
আজ অবনীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুরের জন্মদিন। তিনি ‘অবন ঠাকুর’ নামেই জনপ্রিয় ছিলেন। তাঁকে ‘ইন্ডিয়ান সোসাইটি অফ ওরিয়েন্টাল আর্ট’-এর জনক বলা হয়। কিশোর উপন্যাসের ক্ষেত্রে তাঁর অবদান বিশেষ উল্লেখযোগ্য। এগুলি হল-রাজকাহিনী, শকুন্তলা, ক্ষীরের পুতুল, নালক, নাহুশ, বুড়ো আঙলা ইত্যাদি।
Nag Panchami Special quiz
Today is Nag Panchami. This is the day we should respect and recognise the place that snakes hold in our ecosystem. (Snakes are allergic to milk, and don't danc...e or perform. They best like to be left alone.)
To celebrate the day, we challenge you to answer this quiz. Answer all eight questions, and send them to us as messages, and you stand to win an Amar Chitra Katha! You can also send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not post your answers on the wall unless you want to be disqualified. Good luck!