Saturday, October 14, 2006

The inheritance of Pujo

Just like countless other migratory birds, it's that time of the year when we suddenly flock to seek our own kind. Cooler weather, fall foliage, cinnamon lattes and a whiff of nostalgia all seem to draw us together. Not that vivid vermilion sugar maples are remotely similar to the fragrant shiuli found in Shorot kal, nor does the sleepy, sedate silence of suburbia compare to the drumming of the dhaks. But flock together we must. Be it Billerica, Generica , whatever. Durga Puja is here.

Last year we found ourselves on yet another continent, seeking yet another flocking zone. We had some options, none within the Netherlands. B was relieved, I was not.
Armed with the determination to converge, we found ourselves in Koln Chorweiler (perhaps not the best of names to carry out sacerdotal activities, such as they are!). Bravely we shed all inhibitions, and found ourselves carrying conversations ranging from where the best Bangladeshi Hilsa was to be found in Brussels, why Aachen seemed to draw so many aliens , and of shoes, ships and sealing wax. You get the idea.

Come September, I found myself seeking to flock again. This time with renewed vigour - it being baby N's 1st pujo and all that. We found ourselves - B's parents included, heading to Chorweiler again! Somethings are as eternal as the rain..or in this case the Bengalis. The arati scheduled for 4pm hadn't begun till 7.30 ! The samosas promised for tea hadn't arrived till 7 pm ! All the well greased efficient German organisation couldn't hurry the Bengalis along! While all of them discussed last year's pujo, the year before and the one 20 years ago, the German spouses attempted to sell tea, peel potols and collect chanda!

It was nice enough this year, just like it is every year, every pujo. Made more so by the sudden entrance of family - B's, part Bengali, part German cousins with promises to see each other more often.

All in all , a day well spent. So what if we missed the anjali, the arati , the samosas and the cultural someone once said, most delights are sweeter in expectation than