Millennium Post

Until next year

The ‘city of joy’ bids adieu to Maa Durga with a sinking heavy heart and high hopes – Aashchhe Bochhor Aabar Hobe

The city looks empty, the hearts feel heavy as the four days of frolic, fun and festivity has ended. As the idols are taken for immersion in procession amid loud chants of 'Bolo Durga Mai-Ki-Joy' (glory be to Mother Durga) and 'Aashchhe Bochhor Aabar Hobe', meaning 'it will happen again next year', emotions would swell up. We would wait for her return and this wait will feel longer and never ending.

This time of the year comes with mixed feelings. We would celebrate by offering sweets to guests and relatives, ensure to meet senior members of the family for 'Bijoya pronaam' while a part of our hearts will feel the void for the next few weeks.

Amidst all this, we cannot ignore the environmental hazards caused by the materials used to make and colour the idols as they pollute local water sources after the immersion or 'Bisarjan'. Efforts are underway to introduce eco-friendly materials to the artisans who make the idols. West Bengal has been credited by its own environmental agency as being possibly the first Indian state to successfully curb the use of hazardous paints. However, by their own account, only two-thirds of the idols made are currently coloured with eco-friendly paints.

During the Puja season emotions are high with thoughts of homecoming, reunions with parents and children, between brothers separated across the oceans, friends and neighbours; the beat of drums thud across the twilit skyline releasing a fresh boost of life and hope. Everyone tries to forget at least for the four days the hard-pressing reality and utmost practicality of everyday life as they take the welcome break from their routine lives and lose their work-a-day identity in the swirl of festivity. The magic of Durga Puja is beyond words and expressions. It is the best time of the year and for all the hearts that feel empty, we need to feel better knowing that from her home above, Maa Durga will watch to take care of the good. Let us ensure a better year not just for ourselves but for each and all. Shubho Bijoya!

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