Check this album for more pics from the pujo
Key debates in the Bandra Pujo on Nobomi this year centred around a singer who claimed to have sponsored the bhog here & a lady who sang really well a few years back, but very provocatively. I also met a gentleman who asked me about my fav restaurants and eats. He then told me about his fav meats while the vegetarian bhog got ready. Then there were volunteers running around keeping the pujo going like clockwork and making everyone feel at home.
This is the quintessential parar pujo.
The moment I stepped in I felt I was home. Catching up with Kaushik, the food in charge. Meeting ‘new’ people...old timers here.
Going into the pandal and listening to the dhaaki…confidently going up stage and taking photographs during anjali.
Can’t tell you the sense of thrill I felt as I posed with Mon and Samudra on stage. After skirting on the periphery of the pujo for fifteen years I was not bang in the middle of it. Coincidentally Usha Uthup is performing this evening at our pujo. Just as she was when I first walked into the Bandra pujo one evening in ‘97.
A full circle. And all thanks to the blog.
Then the bhog queues started snaking down and soon the volunteers are at work. Every day visitors to the pandal are treated to bhog by the organisers of the pujo who contribute for this with folks occasionally pitching in with items like Sam with rasgullas today and another Kaushik yesterday. This is the Bengali langar.
And of course there is a special bhog for the Goddess.
After everyone is fed the organisers get on stage for lunch. I was privy to it. The khichudi was finger singeing hot. It was cooked at 7 am and simmering since. The magic of slow cooking or the blessings of Ma Durga. Great food regardless of what you believe.
Fantastic begun bhaaja. Laabra, Chutney payesh and roshogolla too.
I had one great bhog at my buildinger pujo in Kolkata yesterday and was fortunate enough to have another great bhog at my paarar pujo in Bandra today.
It’s great to be home.