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Ma Aschhen - Nanda Banerjee


The countdown has begun! Mahalaya is here and I am getting more impatient by the day!! The atmosphere is sheer magic in my mind. The sad part is that we wait for so long for the 'Puja' to begin and each year the festivities are over in a flash. I always shed a tear when Ma has to return to the heavens on 'Dashami' – but the reassuring chants of "Asche Bochor Abar Hobey" on 'dhak' fills me with hope every time.

Ma aschen is the time of the nostalgic attempts to tear the heart apart. Ma aschen means the thought of waking up one crisp, sunny autumn morning with white cirrus clouds to the intoxicating fragrance of 'shiuli phool' (flower) or rolling in the bed to the mellifluous chants of 'Mahalaya'. The part I liked the most about 'Mahalaya' was the 'shankha dhoni' at the beginning and the chanting of Shree Birendrakishore Bhadra's “Jago Jago Jago ma.”

I remember those lovely days and nights when my sister and I along with my mom spent in excitement planning the clothes to wear for the festivities. We spent time deciding our attire for each of the 5 days, followed by bickering over which one would suit the day and which one for the night, keeping the best ones aside for 'Ashtami' and 'Navami'.


On the day of 'Mahalaya' the eyes are painted on the 'protima' (idol) of Ma Durga. The ritual is called 'Chokku Daan' and this moment still gives me a thrill each time I remember. The main 'Puja' rituals start with ‘Bodhan’ (the invocation of the Mother Goddess on the first day). It is always the most exciting moment for me because Bodhan is a Ritual in Durga Puja through which life is infused into the 'Murti' (idol) of Goddess and the moment the idol is unveiled and I am allowed to peek at the divine beauty.

When the drumbeats of 'Durga puja' are heard, my mind takes a big leap back to around 20 years. It was my childhood and the place was Kolkata. Life has aged through many years with different experiences in different places but those days are still alive in my mind. We still attend 'Durga puja' but that excitement is no more! Time has changed, the thought process of people has changed though listening to ‘Dhak’ on the day of 'Puja' still makes me nostalgic and takes me back to the glorious past. I wish I could travel backwards, once in a while...

 - Nanda Banerjee

About Nanda:

Hi! I am Nanda Banerjee! Born to be the greatest, an enthusiast blogger who loves to write blogs. I like to blog about Health and fitness. I believe Health is the greatest possession and a precious asset that we don't recognize and appreciate until it has been depleted.

Though I am a science student but always love art and literature.

I love to explore what’s around me, everything interests me very much. From people to the nature, beauty, and style everything fascinates me.



#2 Anuradha Sen 2013-10-06 18:20
Wonderfully written. Our memories may be different, but the yearning remains the same for each of us.
#1 Praloy 2013-10-04 09:39
Bah DiDi khub sundor laglo tomar lekha ta pore...... bhalo theko Sharodiar Preeti o Subhecha nio

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