Sorry, for being late with my update for Saptami. I really did not get any time yesterday to do the writing job. I will be really short and crisp with this one and I will let the pictures do the talking.
So, it’s Maha Saptami – the seventh day of Her arrival. Apart from all the pandal hopping and eating stuff today is the bhog day! From today till Navami the delicious and heavenly khichudi will make its inroad to my home in its usual malsa. My father had not bought the bhog coupons beforehand and so it will be my trip to Kadma Old Farm Area Pujo to do the needful. Oh! The Khichudi with payesh, chatni and a sobji for lunch – the very thought of it makes one eager. Normally when my mother makes the khichudi at home I am usually seen frowning upon it. The same old yellow coloured semi liquid food. But during the Pujo I am completely transformed. The khichudi of the bhog is much more yummy and tastes heavenly than my mother’s. Maybe its Maa Durga’s helping hand which makes it ever special.
But let me start from the morning itself. The day found me at my study desk again, solving the Indefinites from R. D. Sharma. My priorities have changed a bit now. Study and celebration has to go hand in hand in these times. My mother had made a wonderfully, finger licking delicious lucchi and aloo dom for breakfast. The day had started so well! So after completing my work when I went to get the coupons at around 11:30 am I was told that it was over! Bliss destroyed! What!! The thought of no bhog today made me so so angry and sad. Pestering, requesting gave way to nothing. I returned home empty handed. So my mother had to make our lunch of bhaat, dhal and aloo bhaja.
Thankfully at 12:30 pm my Uncle brought home a malsa bhog from his Vijaya Shatabdee complex. Problem solved and Happiness Restored! Eating the bhog after gap of year is so so good. Although we could not have bhog for lunch, I was still happy that at least I could taste it. Next day mission – Rise up early and march to the pandal to grab the first lot of coupon.
The weather in the morning as usual was a pleasing one with the Sun smiling down happily on Jamshedpur. A bright, clear day once again. Let me cut to evening time. Today I had decided to visit the C. H. Area Puja. So again I was with Rishi on his Activa negotiating the ever increasing stream of vehicles and people to reach Circuit House Area. Now, this is a Puja which I believe is only among the few left which has still preserved its traditional outlook with all the Bengali customs intact. C. H. Area is a posh area and so its Pujo is also a combination of grandeur and elegance. From the MD of Tata Steel to the all the senior doctors of Tata Main Hospital converge over here. There are also authentic dhakis with their plumes of white feathers and the dhunuchi naach which sets it apart from rest of the Pujas in Jamshedpur.
Over the years, this ground has been the classic hangout zone for school students. I agree that not all of Jamshedpur folks would say that this simple Puja is one of the best reasoning that it lacks the ‘glitz’ and artistic appeal of the Pandals in Adityapur, Kasidih, et cetera. But whatever may be the reason; this simplicity has managed to strike a chord with almost all of Jamshedpur’s school goers. You are bound to find a few odd friends from school days here. And oh did I mention that there are also beautiful and drop dead gorgeous girls over here on whom the boys seem to have an invisible crush? A typical Jamshedpurian will know what I mean.
Some snaps from the C.H.Area Pujo –
The protima as usual was a beautiful one. It is not a large and showy one but its still beautiful in its own simple and quaint way. There was also a cultural programme going on for the members of the Pujo committee just like every year. After staying over there for 45 minutes and ogling we decided that our stomachs needed attention. So we headed on to Delhi Darbar at Sakchi.
A chicken biryani for Rishi and a chicken roll for me. Simple. Cost? Only one hundred and twenty rupees. The place is a bit congested but the Mughlai food is one to die for. If anyone is visiting Jamshedpur for the first time one should visit that eatery. Another trip to Softy Corner ensured that we had our desserts of our desire.
The crowd was really getting thick at the night progressed. In B. H. Area, Kadma where I live there lies 3 Pujas within the vicinity making travelling along the I. C. Road a bit difficult. But nobody seems tho mind this small itch – after all its Pujo time! So finally at 9:30 pm we called it a day and hoped for Asthami.