It’s that time of the year when the city is embellished with Durga Puja pandals and people are set for revelry with their best ensembles in place. For Bengalis, the five days of the Durgaotsav mean much more than just a festival. It entails food, cultural activities, music and family time. Here, popular musicians talk about their love for the festival and what it means to them.
Like any Bengali, Durga Puja has always been a special time of the year for me. I love the fact that you get to be with family, visit various pandals and get blessings from Maa Durga. Also, for the past 30 years, it’s been about performing live across different Durga utsavs in Mumbai. Though both my parents hail from Kolkata, I have never been to the city during Durga Puja. It is surely on my bucket list.
Durga Puja is one of the biggest festivals in West Bengal and I am a Calcutta girl. So, of course, it’s been a big part of my childhood. While growing up, we used to participate in plays, sing and dance. I think everything that I have developed as an artiste, culturally, has been through performances in the pandals of Durga Puja over the years. It’s more than just a festival for Bengalis; it’s more like a cultural and social situation.
Being half Bengali from my father’s side, Durga Pujo has been an integral part of my life. I as in Kolkata recently and the magic of Pujo that you can experience there is unparalleled. It’s that time of the year when families and friends come together. There’s lots of food, music and pandal hopping. It gives me time to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life and celebrate our culture.
Dr Palash Sen
I am half Bengali from my dad’s side. I feel Durga Puja is a festival that’s relevant to all Indians, and not just Bengalis. As a kid, it was all about participating in competitions and enjoying with family and friends. Every year, I attend the Puja organised by my sister, as they have their own celebration. I avoid going to the pandals now as I don’t like the experience of getting mobbed. I’m looking forward to being with my entire family and close friends at the celebration this year. My band Euphoria and I will be performing in Pune on one of the days, so I’m quite excited about that too.
Durga Puja is a predominant festival in West Bengal. Ever since childhood, I have been celebrating the festival with my family. We worship Goddess Durga’s victory over evil. This year, I’ll be hosting Puja for the first time, so I am excited about it. I am looking forward to making some great memories with my friends, fans and loved ones.