Today is Kali pujo or Diwali and I thought I should write something for the occasion. I am not much of a fan of festivals though I like to spend this time at my friend’s ancestral home. It is a big deal in his family. This is one time in the whole year when anyone remotely related to his family comes to this place near Howrah called Ramrajatala.
The day starts with preparation for the worship of Ma Kali and Goddess Lakshmi which take place at night. The preparation includes procurement of vegetables, fruits, flour, rice etc for making Bhog, food for the goddesses. That is not all, few members go out in one direction to get three male goats and some go in the other direction to get water from river Ganga which is considered to be pure. Rest of the day is spent in making Bhog, preparing the goats for the sacrifice.
The ritual starts late in the evening and continues till early morning next day. A lot of people keep fast in honour of Ma Kali. The ritual ends by sacrificing the goats to Ma Kali. It is important that every one in the house is present to witness the sacrifice. The goats are then taken to the butcher for the usual stuff. The meat is cooked and served as Prasad during lunch next day. It’s a feast and around two thousand people come to have food each year. The menu usually includes vegetable items, fish and prawn curry, rice and sweets. It is an elaborate affair.
Later in the evening, the ladies play with vermillion and dance on the beats of Dhak, a Bengali drum to bid farewell to Kali and Lakshmi. After bursting quite a lot of crackers, the Goddess idols are taken for immersion in a nearby lake. Everyone is usually sad after the immersion is over and return with a heavy heart. However, as a consolation everyone is served with Siddhi, a sherbet made of milk, dry fruits, sweets and a local hallucinogenic leaf.
This is all about my Diwali or as Bengalis call it Kali pujo. Here is something from ShankhNaad for a safe Diwali.