Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Can You hear the Dhaks beating Dhang-kur-kur ?

With every other Bong bloggers blogging about Dugga-Pujo, my blog yesterday came out of my screen and threatened me with these exact words "You lazy bum, get up and type a 1000 words about Pujos. You know how much my click rates have gone down in recent time .Earlier at least I used to get hits from your home computer IP. Even that has stopped. Life is so pathetic to be stuck with you...if was not for the older posts I would have given up hanging to this URL"

Before I could ask my blog whether it's been listening to my wife's enlightening words of wisdom missiled at me, it simply crept back to the cyber world to cling onto its sole cyber possession the blogspot URL. So to make a truce I'm finally typing about Durga Puja, the Mardi Gras of Bong heartland.

I first thought of writing the Standard X type essays soaked with nostalgia that'll make you buy the next air-ticket to Kolkata. And the next moment you'll be clicking on my Google Ad sense ads for cheap fares to Kolkata bringing me money. But since I don't have ads at the moment I decided to drop the idea. Instead lemme share you some trivia about Durga Puja.

Did you know that the clay required for building the idol has to be mixed with bit of mud procured from prostitute's house. Oh you already knew that!! Sala Bhan-saali, you had to show that in that when-will-it-end movie Devdas. And then just with the name of Devdas a chord strikes my brain (yeah it can be painful when it strikes).Let me tell you about one of the colorful characters among the many in Calcutta's Pujo circuit. And before you ask what Devdas has got to do with these people, the answer is well on these festive days this guy let's call him PD( Pooja Devdas) was just as sober as Devdas was.

PD lived in the some distant suburbs of Kolkata. To reach those places you had to travel in those fully packed local passenger trains from Sealdah. And to stand inside the train compartments you need to do some really flexible feats that might have made the Elastic Man proud. The reason I am saying all these things just to imply PD was a simpleton and was not so accquinated to the ways of life in a big city.

So one Durga Puja PD comes to Kolkata, get drunk with none-else but me and together we go out for Pandel hopping. For those who are from Kolkata they might know during the Durgapujas the Ekdalia Road has a No-Entry sign for vehicles to make it easy for the pedestrians. We had reached this place when I suddenly remembered that I need to buy cigarettes.

I went to the trusted Oriya paan-ka-dukandar opposite to Laxmi Sweets leaving PC there alone. Even I was drunk too and swayed by my camaraderie I spent around 8-10 minutes asking about how this guy’s family is doing in Orissa. I enquired whether they suffered in the last cyclone and did they receive the relief from the government and if they are not they should start a movement and send a petition to the PM himself. The guy was patient enough not to kick me out from his shop at that busy hour.

Suddenly I hear an angry authoritative voice shouting "Aare sala I told you hundred times this is not for the pedestrians...only for cars...you can go". I look back and see PC is in a heated argument with the police constable about the NO-ENTRY placard placed in the middle of the road. His point of view was that sign is quite misleading as thousands of people walking to the pandels might think that sign meant for them and take a detour creating more chaos. I had to employ all my strength to pull PD from that place just moments before the constable lost his cool and charged at PD with his only armor : his well oiled cane-stick.


PD was quite moved by my attempt to help him to escape the arms of the law. So as we were approaching Maddox Square he told me "Bishu you my true friend....for you I can do anything....even place my bogol (ie. armpit in Bengali) on the tram-tracks....errr I mean my neck !!". His intention showing his comradeship by laying down arm-pit before the tram wheels nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Just as I was searching for my hankerchief to wipe my eyes, three things happend :
1. Heard a "Tong" sound as if some body had a bang on collision with something metallic
2. Saw PD lying at the foot of the lamp-post nursing his forehead which had immedietly swelled.
3. A group of girls standing nearby broke out into maddening fit of laughter.

I looked at PD. He had a pitiful smile on his face. "It's not really my fault.With so many beautiful girls around I didn't see the lamp-post in front", was his defence.

PD is now well settled some place Mid West in US. I hope he doesn't debate a traffic cop out there about another traffic sign. They might confiscate his license. And PD please don't crash into a lamp-post while checking out some hot blondes around. Your insurance plan might not cover the damages. But I know that would never happen.

Because US Mid-west is no Kolkata at Durgapujas.These things can only happen only in that enchanted city in that enchanted time. Only then you find friends willing to sacrifice their armpits for you at the drop of the hat. Only then people loose sight of the lamp-post in front, because the surrounding is so provocative that it jams your sensible sense organs. Only then even the otherwise authoratative cop also finds ten minutes worth of patience explaining an un-initiated the meaning of NO-ENTRY sign-board. That's what Durgapuja means in the heart of Bongland. Wear the best clothes, Have the best food, Be at your best, And never forget to get crazier at times. Insanity sometimes becomes a virtue in an otherwise painstakingly black-n-white sane world.

Enjoy the Durgapujas to the beating of the dhaks (Bengali version of drums). Can you hear them beating "Dhang-kur-kur...Dhang-kur-kur" !!

13 comments:

Kele Panchu said...

Sharodiyar Shubhechchha!
We don't have dhaks here :(

Shreemoyee said...

pujor subeccha! This place has 3 pujos which is great. We have dhaak, dhunichi and bhog proshad..

Joy Forever said...

Beautiful Post. Sharod Shubhechchha janalam. There are very few Pujos here in Hyderabad.

Twisted DNA said...

Now, officially every Bong blogger has blogged about Pujos. :P

Yours is not just Pujo nostalgia though. It's a fun read. Keem 'em coming.

Bishu said...

Panchu, my heartfelt sympathies are for you. HMV had released a cassette long time back with Bengal Dhaks. Maybe you can ask Mr. HK in the next Puja meeting to play that cassette instead. Subho Bijoya.

@Sreemoyee, envy you for able to see 3 pujos that too in US. Earlier I thought only UK Bong community had that privilege. I would love to read about your experiences in those Pujos. Hoping that post is already in type mode :) Subho Bijoya.

@Joy, from what I gather from my cousin bro living and loving it Hyd, the pujos out there are much homely nature. Looking forward to read about those pujos in your simple yet touching style. Subho Bijoya.

@TD, thanks. A Happy Dussera to you and your family.

Kele Panchu said...

Shubho Bijoya :)

Rapid I Movement said...

Hehe, darun lekha. Shubho Bijoya.

Shreemoyee said...

Shubo Bijoya to you too. I dont have any pujo writeup, but had previously posted a lot of pictures from my Puja trip to India last year.

Bishu said...

@R-I-M:Welcome to my blog and a Big Thanku for the compliment.Subho Bijoya and an e-Kolakuli.

@Shreemoyee: Great snaps.Added your blog to my blogline subscription.Gotta watch that space for newer updates.

biplab said...

No complain bishu. You have so many readers now.

kutus said...

besh laglo.

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

All the nostalgia was making me sick.
Your post is neat.

Bishu said...

@Biplab-da:All is a part of the spirit of the festive season I guess.

@Kutus:Thank you.Waiting for more posts on your blog.

@ACQ:Did you mean "neat" as in neat whisky or rum? Then a big thank u sir ;)