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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Durga Puja 2015 (in Bengaluru)

My childhood memories of Durga puja are numerous. Watching the elaborate pandal near my house shaping up over a period of a month or so, the subtle smell of 'gangashiuli' and other winter blossoms in the gradually chilly evening air, the lotus/lily blooming in a nearby pond, the purchase of festive clothes and finally the annual visit by my 'piusi' or my father's sister. Being in Bengaluru I miss all of it. The pandals are just plain and unobtrusive, the only smell that rents the air is that of dust and pollution and buying clothes is no longer fun in a city that is driven by sheer materialism.

Being away from home, one does not have much to do during the puja. Hence we decided to go pandal hopping in the areas nearby Marathahalli. And realized that there is no dearth of pandals in Bengaluru. These are some of the ones I manged to cover -

The above pics were clicked at Sishu Griha school grounds, Near Thippasandra.

Near Kempfort mall, Murugeshpallya.

Sarjapur Outer Ring Road.

The very crowded one at AECS layout.

Some trinkets that I picked up -

Coming to all that was there to eat, I ended up tasting quite a few things like Mangsho kasha luchhi, Chicken kasha luchi, Chicken chaap with paratha, Kolkatta chicken biryani, Chowmein, Dahibara aludum, rasagulla, rasmalai and gupchup. And ended up with the realization that one has to kiss too many frogs before a prince charming actually turns up. A very relevant fairytale that one can only ignore at one's peril.

And no I did not click any food pics coz that is what I do everyday and I badly needed the break. The moment food arrives on the table, I end up taking a shot no matter what. Even my 3 year old excalims "Food has come. Bring Camera. Mama will take photo". Gosh, Am I so hollow that anyone can look through me ? No, I don't want to hear the all too obvious reply.

Finishing up with the pandal hopping spree, I realized that the spirit of Dusshera or Durga Puja is still intact even in this government forsaken city. Though it manifests itself in a very different way, "Maa" still makes her presence felt in the IT city. A big cheers to the Bengaluru crowd for their sheer 'joie de vivre' .

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