The Sweet Smell of Autumn : Celebrating Durga Puja in Bengal
How the Fragrance of Blackboard Flowers and Night Jasmine Marks the Beginning of This Festive Season
September has arrived !And guess what? It marks the beginning of one of the most beautiful seasons of the year – autumn.
Now, I know, from a literary standpoint, autumn isn’t typically associated with positivity. But let me tell you, as a proud member of the Bengali community in India, this is THE time of the year for us.
It’s like having Christmas for not one day, but a whopping 10 days – because the preparations kick off a month or two in advance.
It's like a massive city-wide party that rages on for 10 days straight. Lights, colors, outfits, food, games, travel, fun – you name it, we've got it!
I know it might sound like I'm going overboard, but trust me, I'm not.
This spectacular celebration? It's all about Durga Puja: the worship of Goddess Durga, symbolizing the triumph of Good over Evil.
If you want textbook info on what Durga Puja is, there's a ton of articles online for that. But what those articles can't convey is the sheer joy, warmth, and emotions wrapped up in this celebration.
This might help you to get a better idea in short — https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga_Puja
Honestly, if I were to dive into all the feels one by one, we'd be here forever. Since the big day hasn't arrived yet, I want to soak in this vibe a month in advance.
Now, there's this particular fragrance, the Blackboard tree's flower, that immediately screams "Durga Puja!" into my ears.I'm not sure if everyone gets to catch a whiff these days, thanks to our friendly neighborhood pollution.
But I make it my mission to track down that tree by following the scent. The moment I catch it, my heart goes "Ooh-La-La," I practically break into a dance, wiggle my nose like a button, and inhale it like it's the elixir of life. It's like smelling the most exquisite perfume in the world, the kind that money can't buy. Even if you showed me perfumes that claim to mimic that fragrance, my answer would still be a resounding "Nope!" It's not just the scent; it's the fact that it shows up at this specific time of year, conjuring memories of celebrations spanning countless years.
Oh, and let's not forget the pretty queen – the night Jasmine.
These beauties are known for their nightly descent, creating a soft, white carpet under the tree by morning. That, my friends, is another big deal during this season of festivities.
My experiences of Durga Puja and my ideal way of celebrating have shifted quite a bit over the years. But that feeling of autumn knocking on the door? That, my dear readers, remains unchanged. 🍂🌼
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