Sushobhan Mukherjee

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Durgapuja – Trend Analysis

Durga Puja ends, however festive season continues. Lakhsmipuja, Kali Puja, Diwali and so on. But Durgapuja being the largest among them, the wait for the same begins for next one year.

I was seating with my tea today morning and was wondering how everything got changed. The views shared in this post is completely my own thought and no influence so ever from any source. And I seem to be an alien with the surroundings where a revolution (??) took place over a decade.

Volume/ Quantity

Like any other aspect in life, here also “Quantity” is the evil. With the growth of real estate industry the world is flooded with flats/ complexes and in effect every complex (consolidation of few Flats) owning a Durgapuja which is outside the “Sarbojonin” / “Baroari” Puja (Public) of a Para (area/ locality). This does not mean, Sarbojonin Pujas are geting vanished, rather the earlier one (Puja of Complexes / Flats) is getting added to the bucket. In effect flooded with no. of Pujas. The exact count of Pujas can be good project to create a research paper though do not know if already some has been done like this.

Division / Diversity

Durgapuja is supposed to be an occasion for reunion and rejuvenation. But actually in present circumstances, it is reverse. Different people with different mind-set, philosophy, boundaries, political colours, thought process, intend to segregate in different community circles and compete with the other one. Puja is one of medium now a days to showcase differences/segregations/diversity and off course each other’s strength.


Instead of legacy, the theme culture is being very prominent now a days. The same is not bad. The committees spend lot of time to innovate new concept and the hard work continues for the whole year. Different kind of artistic works are being adopted and deployed. But alas, no retention. And due to quantity problem, how many of them we remember for years? I had enquired few of my friend about the themes of few renowned Pujas of Kolkata 2 years back. But none could respond. Coz I found everyone under pressure to complete every corner of the city days and night. I find people roam around whole night consecutive three days and also attend office in day time. I found someone visited 25 Puja Pandal in 3/4 Hours time. I really don’t feel this way (the servant way, do not know who is driving them), any quality, taste, remembrance can happen. Everyone is running around as if some Sales Target to be achieved. They are least bothered about traffic, jam, weather, non-availability of transport, excessive price for food/transport nothing could prevent the crowd to reach almost everywhere. I wonder if similar efforts / energies could have been revealed during work/job/employment, the Bengal work culture / echo system would have a different path all together.


Again quantity is high (lot of outlets), poor quality, but still it sells. In my locality in 1 km stretch I found 7 Biryani Counters (who sells only Biriyani, there are other outlets which sells biriyani with everything else) and all are running well. At 10pm I found one biriyani stall kept rice, potato and chicken separate. Whenever someone needs it, they mix three of these and pack. Alas, there is no “DUM” concept and this Biriyani sells and they get repeat customers as well. Are we losing our taste? Can we eat anything and everything?


Now a days all Puja Pandals get awards. So many competetions run by different companies. This year I have seen at least 5 / 6 pandals in my locality got awards by Panchami itself. The mementos are found to be showcased there. Now questions is who are the judges, what are the parameters and what are the benefits other than Memento. No one is there to answer. With the rise of Pujas, awards had been increased in proportion. And as usual it is not having any charm, any thrill of winning.


Shock ! May be I am getting old. I found a young man (max 20 years of age) on Chaturthi on a Matador. He was coming from Kumortuli with his friends and off course Maa Durga and other Pratimas. But surprisingly he was holding a Beer Bottle in hand and having drinks openly on the go. Almost all the Pujas are having DJ in vasan or in during Puja days. I have been told this is being organized to energize the youth to dance since they had put lot of efforts organizing the Puja. Also my thought only adding beats to any song with not create any music. If so then it is better to play beats only without the song. Anyway, today everyone is music lover since I found everyone plugging ear phone from Mobile and listening music always (in bus, train, walk). I feel like crying.


Most important aspect. The kind of growth of Puja in Bengal, it is definitely a huge market for specific segment like artists, decorators, electricians, theme artists, electrical companies, food/ QSR companies. Exact valuation of the market segments is a different research activity. But huge inflow of money. But what is the return? Who is getting benefitted? The bottom of pyramid, the workers involved in this are not even getting a small pie of it. Moreover there is no retention policy of the creations. Hence almost majority of the money is drained out. This is the money accumulated from the tax prayers only in some form or other.


In spite of so many media , themes, majority of youth are unaware of history of the occasion, the philosophy (there are exceptions as always) because people are not having time to read , think instead of focusing on visuals. This is applicable even for my daughter (7years old). She has seen all different TV channels (swapping between them) for 2 / 3 hours on Mahalaya. But she could tell me the story as was depicted there. This is the reason they do not get bored even on repeat telecasts (like all cartoons I have seen repeats, still they enjoy always).

Start-up Ecosystem / SME

Even after money market scams, the fund flow did not stop. The spending power of common man did not go down even after inflation. The same was quite evident with the rise of retail outlets and the crowd gathering in almost all outlets in all areas. I dream, if some percentage of same could have been accumulated, spent, reserved for Start-ups in Bengal, the story would have been different.

I seem to be out of the world. Anyone from in the readers having similar opinions?

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Goddess is also Curious to know the answer


Durgapuja | Looking at History and Mythology

(01-10-2014 : This blog is written in the event of Holy Saptami of Durgapuja Festival. I have not written anything new, rather wanted to collate different parts which I heard , read in my life. Hence the entire writing is dedicated to all those unknown people, books, articles , mythology etc)


Durga Puja is the biggest annual religious festival for the Bengalis. It is the celebration of the victory of goddess “Durga” over the evil demon “Mahish asur” (buffalo powered demon). Devi Durga is the goddess for energy and power. She conquered a powerful evil (demon) with her ten hands riding the lion. All other gods and goddesses had given their entire weapon and power to Devi Durga to fight against energetic evil. The goddess is worshiped with great passion and devotion.

This holy festival is an occasion for reunion and rejuvenation, and a celebration of traditional culture and customs. While the rituals entails ten days of fast, feast and worship, the last four days – Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami – are celebrated with immense joy and splendour.

In the ancient times, Mahishasur was blessed by ‘Lord Shiva’ due to his dedicated meditation and devotion. The blessings was that no man or Deity would be able to kill him. In effect Mahishasur became immense powerful and started ruling over the World and even the Gods were driven out from heaven.

Lord Shiva became extremely angry once Gods reported him about the violence caused by the demon. This anger came out in the form of an energy from Shiva’s third eye and concentrated along with the powers of Bishnu and Brahma (trinity) to form a woman. All the Gods contributed their energy to this Goddess and thus Durga, the eternal mother, was born. After a fierce battle, Durga transformed into Devi Chandika, the most ferocious form of the Goddess, and beheaded Mahishasur.

Durga Puja is celebrated every year in the bengali month of Ashwin (September-October) and commemorates Prince Rama’s invocation of the goddess before going to war with the demon king Ravana. This autumnal ritual was different from the conventional Durga Puja, which is usually celebrated in the springtime. So, this Puja is also known as ‘akal-bodhan’ or out-of-season (‘akal’) worship (‘bodhan’). Thus goes the story of Lord Rama, who first worshipped the ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ or the slayer of the buffalo-demon, by offering 108 blue lotuses and lighting 108 lamps, at this time of the year.

As per Hindu mythology Daksha (the king of the himalayas and the plains) and his wife, Menoka, had a daughter named Uma. Uma started worshipping Shiva as her would be husband since her childhood. Shiva got pleased with it and came to marry her. Daksha did not like this groom, dressed with tiger-skin & dirt (ash) spread across the body. Uma got married to Shiva but was prevented by her father from moving to Kailash, the domicile of Shiva. Daksha, later on, arranged for a prayer where everyone except Shiva was invited. Uma was shocked and felt ashamed of the behaviour of her father towards her husband. In effect she started fasting and finally died. Shiva came to know about this and went to Daksha’s house. He lifted the body of Uma on his shoulders and started dancing madly. With the supreme power dancing, the World was on the verge of destruction. Narayana, another SuperGod (lord Bishnu), came forward as a saviour and used his ‘Chakra’ to cut the Body of Uma into pieces. Those pieces started falling off from the shoulder of the dancing Shiva into different parts of the World. Shiva was finally pacified when the last piece fell off from his shoulder. Narayana revived Uma for a new life. The places where the pieces had fallen are known as the ‘Shakti Piths’ or energy pits, few of these places being Kalighat in Kolkata, Kamakshya near Guwahati among others.

Ever since peace was restored, during autumn season, devi durga (Uma) comes to her parental house at plain land for four days. Every year astrologers declare 4 days in advance and these dates varies year to year. She comes to her parental house along with her 2 daughters (Goddess of Treasure – Laxmi and Goddess of Education – Saraswati) and 2 sons (God of Prosperity – Ganesh and God of Youth – Kartik). And Durga Puja gets celebrated.