While Maa Durga has departed now but the festivities are still in the air. The grandeur of Maa Durga is indescribable. Kolkata observes the best Durga Puja in India. It displays varieties of creative and detailed Durga Pujo pandals. However I didn’t get the opportunity to witness various nights of revelry in Kolkata but I did visit few pandals in Delhi and Noida. I am not here to talk about various rituals of Durga Pooja but to share an observation that I felt while visiting the pandals. Across the pandals I could see some peculiar kind of bongs attending the Pujo, so here is a list of various kind of bongs that you will see in Durga Pujo.
- Selfie Freaks: Except few elderly people almost everyone falls in this category. It might be a way of celebrating and recording the moment to cherish later but I didn’t find it cool. Selfie trend has taken over everything but I thought people should have spared at least this event, but it certainly wasn’t the case. It is totally my personal view but yes it definitely qualifies as one of the kind of bongs.
- Quintessential Bong: This category contains all the bongs who are adept with all the rituals and know every step of the pujo with all the perfection. The women of this category are clad in red and white crisp cotton sarees with a big red bindi on the forehead and the guys are clad in thick cotton kurta and yes no to forget the big broad framed spectacles. This variety can be very easily spotted.
- The elderly ones: These bongs are very conventional and want everything to be done on time. Getting late for the rituals is something they just cannot tolerate. You would often hear them saying “tada taadi koro” which translates to hurry up. They are also the ones who are very concerned about their grand kids. They can be spotted running behind the kids and dragging them to the pandel to teach them the rituals. They are the cutest of the lot, I personally like them.
- The hotie bong: Now in every pandal there is always this one hot bong would be the cynosure for the day. Usually clad in a crisp cotton suit or a saree which makes sure her flat belly is visible with khol laden eyes and shining lips. She is longed by all and usually does the best dhunuchi dance in the lot. I look forward to spot this variety.
- Literary lover bongs: I am not sure if they love literature or not but at the same time I didn’t know what category to put them into so I chose this one. People belonging to this category can be easily identified with their appearances and this category is dominated by the females. Clad in cotton sarees with sleeveless blouses, they would always be wearing bead jewellery and hard to find earrings. If you ever pass by then and try to eavesdrop they would be always be either talking about some art exhibition or Rabindro Sangit.
- Bong with non bongs: As the bengalis are not just confined within West Bengal, it is quite natural to have relationships with non bengalis. You would often spot this variety standing in one corner, translating and explaining the rituals to their non bong partners. The tenacity with which they explain is commendable. One moment they would converse in bengali with their bong friends and in another split second they would turn back to their partners and explain it in Hindi or English. I look forward to spot this variety too.
- The band boys: Now we all know that bengalis are very talented, they have to have a hobby and they better be good at it. This variety usually encompasses the young generation who have a knack towards music. If you prod them a little more you would know that as much as they know the chords for a Bryan Adam song they are also expert in Rabindrasangeet. Usually you can easily spot them with a guitar on their backs but here in Durga Puja you have to identify this category with their looks. Majorly you can spot them in a popular rock band t-shirt with a blue denim, light stubble or a goatee and messy hair.
- The DSLR gang: In every pandal you would definitely spot some bengali holding a DSLR camera with a huge lens. These are either professional or budding photographers. They would zoom in and out of the idol and take hundred pictures of the pandel. They are also spotted obliging people by clicking their picture. With the increase in number of people carrying DSLR this category surely deserves a mention in the list.
- Bongs with potbellies: This is just an observation and I don’t intend to offend anyone, but this category do exist, at least I have seen many of this kind. These bongs would come to pandel on time, perform the rituals on time and then would sit on one side and watch everyone. They are always very very excited about the pujo and these are the ones who would boast about the grandeur of pujo in front of their colleagues when they get back to work. They would also brag about the celebration that happens in Kolkata during Durga Pooja and how everything arranged here (Delhi/NCR) is no where close to it.
- Overexcited kids: If I don’t mention anything about kids you would think which pujo doesn’t have kids, so yes the pujo pandal is always and always filled with energised kids. They would keep running from one corner to another and make sure that their parents have a hard time catching hold of them.
That is all that I have in my list. Did I miss any variety, if yes then give me a shout. Please note, this is a fun post and purely based on my observations during the pandal visit of Durga Puja.
I am giving the due credit to all the photo sources for the photos used in this post.