The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Two sides of the festive spirit
Where do you belong'

Puja wows

1) New clothes never fail to please.

2) Bhog for lunch and junk food at night keeps a Bangali healthy, wealthy and bright. No need to sweat it out in the kitchen.

3) Themes. Now Pujas have an informative aspect. Catch up with the latest art trends, folk art revivals, community culture and history, or with current affairs — the latest Harry Potter release or Sunita Williams’s journey into space — by visiting a para puja.

4) If you can wade through the crowds, you might manage to catch a glimpse of your favourite star from Bolly, Tolly or Telly at your favourite puja.

5) Durga puja is synonymous with a crispness in the air. It is also the time when our homes acquire a new look, thanks to the pre-Puja cleaning. It feels so good.

6) The city never sleeps during the Puja. Parents don’t insist on curfew hours.

7) Durga puja is the ticket to splurge. You stop counting calories. You go to the beauty parlour for a haircut and end up with a gold facial. The credit card bills can come later.

8) Post-Dashami, you can be sure that your fridge will be stocked with mishti for at least 10 days. Every visitor to your place will be armed with a box of mishti.

9) Romance blossoms. Preparations start in advance — Orkutting to fix up a date and time, deciding what to wear, exchanging mobile numbers to track each other down, waiting for the first beat of the dhak to say it to the girl whom you found utterly lovely last Puja — anything goes!

10) It is homecoming time for many and that may include friends you haven’t met in years and catching up with adda. And it’s just the beginning of the festive season!

Puja woes

1) Meeting relatives you’ve managed to avoid the entire year. If Puja comes, can Bijoya be far behind' (Some relatives are okay.)

2) Not being able to avoid the khichuri-labda-chatni routine at Puja pandals.

3) Driving down Hazra Road you’re likely to spot Durga with her children trapped inside a Jurassic Park-like cave, which is the pandal. Keeping vigil are two mammoth dinosaurs with twinkling eyes mounted on the pandal, which reads: “Lupto pranir gupto katha”. Moving along CR Avenue you might stumble upon the replica of Central Jail where Durga with her family has been tucked in. Stop, theme.

4) Think Puja, think chaos. Think Puja, think traffic jam. Think Puja, think noise. Think Puja, think pollution.

5) Your feet never forgive you after a night of pandal-hopping, especially if it has rained before. And your shoes have been subjected to downright cruelty.

6) Romance blossoms. So do your chances of being spotted — by relatives, neighbours, everyone you know, who are everywhere.

7) Many work during the Puja. It’s poison occupying your workdesk as the rest of the world parties.

8) Puja leaves many forlorn. Too much work, nowhere to go, no friends to catch up with, haven’t managed to get hold of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Just listen to the number of people who call up FM channels on Puja days.

9) If you haven’t bought the matching dupatta, the matching blouse, or the right accessory, be prepared to be devoured by the multitudes at the shopping mall.

10) Too many “Happy Puja” messages texts to answer. You may not be happy at all. You may not feel like wishing happiness to others.

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