I was surprised to see their smiles, the happiness in their faces made me stunned, I noticed it for consecutive three days and the question I was asking to myself…how they can. How is it possible?
The grandness with which Durga Puja is celebrated in West Bengal is beyond description, it does not only have religious impact but also have deep social and cultural impact. For any Bengali it’s really very pathetic if they can’t spend the Puja days with their family and closed ones, somehow we all manage to do so. The most beautiful festive time we spend with our family, relatives and with friends and colony members, especially sitting in the Puja Pandal discussing on random topics has an indescribable charm. Those who are unable to manage time for not getting leave from their jobs regret for missing all these.
The truth is…Puja days without the family members, friends and closed ones are really very torturing.
One of the most interesting activities are…the fire crackers, though this can be seen among the kids mostly but elders are not behind them, they also enjoy cracking different patakas and involve themselves at least for one day with their children or with the elder ones.
Durga Puja without Dhak(a musical instrument) is beyond imagination, rather when the Puja days knock at the door that time in different banners and now a days in whatsapp and facebook messages we make aware each other with the pictures of the Dhakis(those who plays Dhak) with the idol of Maa Durga. The sound of Dhak plays a very vital role in Durga Puja, the sound works as a signal also, like…when someone in their house which is not so closed to Puja Mandap then listening the sound of Dhak they realize that Puja has started and they quickly complete their dress up and Puja arrangements and reach the mandap.
But what about the Dhakis?...staying far away from their houses and family members for consecutive five days they perform their duties in different Mandaps, without their presence the Puja will lose it’s charm, they can’t spend time with family members, they don’t have fun time during puja days, they don’t have the opportunity to enjoy as we all do. Their contribution to Durga Puja will remain with its glory and pride.
Durga Puja starts with “Bodhon” that takes place in the day of Sashthi and the Dhakis has to be present there to play the Dhak, this is the time their journey with responsibility starts, except the Puja times they spend time sitting in the Pandals observing the activities of others…they don’t get enough time to visit other Pandlas to see the idols.
Sandhyarati with Dhak.....
I was noticing them from the day of Sasthi, their smiling faces speaking out loudly that they are very happy to perform such activity and in the day of Navami I felt to talk to them about their life, the deadly part I have come to know is…their children are not interested to learn this art, now a days there are so many job opportunities, Govt. is helping the people offering different projects, so their children have involved themselves in those activities, there is nothing wrong in their decision but even as a part time job they are not interested to learn it, so logically may be after ten-twenty years it will be hard to find any Dhaki who will make us aware when the Puja will start, who will keep the charm of Puja playing Dhak during Puja time, may be that time we have to play the recordings.