By Sreyashi Mazumdar
We have often heard of big fat Indian weddings but have you, especially the Bengalis, ever pondered upon big fat Durga Puja? The occasion exudes ostentation, pomposity and exuberance. Bengalis across the country take to a spendthrift mode with their pockets flooded with wads of notes and their minds excogitating upon plans for the grand affair. The hubbub riddling the shops throughout the state of Bengal explicates the excitement breeding the city.
“I have saved a hefty amount for Puja shopping. This time, the occasion will be all the more special as I will be meeting my long lost friends. We have planned on four different themes for the four days of the grand occasion,” voiced a 30-years-old devout Roopankar Chatterjee.
From a toddler to a grey-haired devotee, each and every Bengali awaits the grandeur in the balmy month of October. Branded shops and malls testify teeming crowds and serpentine queues before their counters. Honking horns and cluttered streets are some of the most common excerpts testified in Kolkata.
“We generally start our shopping a month before the oncoming of Durga Puja. We do not shop throughout the year. Further, I ensure that I get hold of best of the apparels. Durga Puja is not all about pandal hopping; you get to meet a lot of people. Friends who might not be in touch for a long time but might bump into you in any one of the pandals (makeshift tent). You need to look good and all decked up,” said one 24-years-old garrulous Aditi Banerjee.
“I wouldn’t mind spending a considerable amount on shopping especially when an occasion like Durga Puja is knocking at the door. I am a shopaholic and I spend around 50K during this month of the year. I mean…c’mon it’s Durga Puja after all (she giggles). This is what we bongs wait for,” said Rhea Niyogi, while having a toothsome meal in Park Street’s Peter Cat.
A Bengali’s wallet seems to be on fire during Durga Puja. Unlike a typical Kolkatan, 52-years-old Shuvamoy Mazumdar mocked the idiosyncratic hysteria of Bengalis during Durga Puja. “I feel like laughing at people who tend to lavishly spend their entire salary on shopping. I mean that here people on streets find it hard to make both ends meet. And, my Bengali friends are pouring money on useless stuff as if the world is going to end and therefore shop as much as you can for the last time.”
Taking off their frugal disposition, Bengalis tend to don a lavish lifestyle during the festive season of Durga Puja. They might try to sew their pocket-holes otherwise but during to the time of the aforementioned festival, they tend to burn deep holes in their pockets.