Durga Puja is a powerful melting pot for East Indians all across the country. It is just that the address changes, but the spirit and gusto remain the same. The IT city of Bangalore too became a mini-Assam or a mini-Kolkata during the four days of Durga Puja with grandeur of decorations, over-crowded food stalls near gorgeous pandals and enthusiastic revellers swarming pandals. There were Bengali Associations and Assamese Associations that organized and celebrated Durga Puja with grandeur and fervour, trying to foster a spirit of unity among all people in the garden city. Various cultural events and competitions were also organised at various Puja pandals to lure crowds.
Umpteen regional and cultural associations were all geared up for the fun that started on 26th September, 2017 stretching for five days till 30th September, 2017. The Assam Association Bangalore (AAB) too made sure to follow its traditional Assamese rituals for its unique and elaborate Xarbojanin Sree Sree Durga Puja 2017 which was held at Vishweshwarya College Grounds, Murugeshpallya, Bengaluru. 26th September had witnessed the 'bel-boron' and 'Maha Sashti puja' of the Mother Goddess while 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th September beheld the Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Vijaya Dashami puja with great pomp and pleasure.
Priests from the home State were specially invited to perform the entire 'puja' rituals. People from various communities from all over Bangalore thronged to the Vishweshwarya College grounds to experience and attend Durga Puja each day with glory and gaiety. People felt very much at home, though they were around three thousand miles away from home, having the mouth watering traditional 'puja bhog' - 'khichidi', 'bilaaheer taq' (sweet tomato curry), 'alu-rangaalao sabji' (mixed veggies), 'bengenaa bar' (crispy brinjal fritters) and 'paayax' (kheer).
Assam Associtation Bangalore had earnestly laid out a wide array of Assamese cuisine along with a wholesome entertainment of cultural programmes during the five-day event. Local Kannada and Assamese artists and musical troupes performed and graced the occasion.
The Durga Puja was a wonderful opportunity to undertake some major social initiatives and to bring media focus and attention to Assam Association Bangalore. Since traffic and car parking is a real hassle in the city, AAB was assisted by 'Parking Rhino', a first-ever app-based car-parking initiative to manage the parking system. Just like last year, this year too AAB had procured eco-friendly, natural colours to be put on idols, eco-friendly serving plates, glasses, spoons and pandal decorations during the entire festivities. The idea was to spread the message of both 'enjoyment and responsibility' where one was both conscious and conscientious of his/her actions and its results.
The Bangalore based Assamese musical band well known as 'Khaar - the musical flavour' also performed on the Maha Ashtami cultural night. AAB had truly attempted to create a wonderful mix of both social as well as cultural awareness by taking forward the rich cultural heritage and legacy of Assam.
The icing on the cake was the launch of the autumn edition of the biannual and bilingual official magazine of AAB - 'Uruli' and also the entirely enthralling and exquisite cultural programmes showcasing Assam in a far away State and the rich cultural heritage of Assam for the people of Bengaluru.
Durga Puja in Bangalore indeed brings together diverse community of individuals, who love to get together and celebrate our diverse Indian culture.