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Nostalgia… Durga Puja during Our School Life

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The much awaited festive days are back again. We can recall the joyful and happy days when we were little school children and how we spent those days.

There was a Xewali Phool tree in front of our house. It being the beginning of winter, mild fog was starting to spread everywhere. We spent our golden childhood days in the historic Sivasagar town that has a long experience of public celebration of the Puja, including the much believed arrangement in the ancient Devidol situated in the bank of the Sivasagar Borpukhori of the Ahom era. There was a tradition of animal sacrificing in the historic temple but however we were not allowed to see all that. Besides, so many other arrangements were also there in the town and we along with our parents went to offering prayers as well as enjoying the festival.

Sometimes we were greeted by our parents by new clothing on the occasion but not regularly. During the festival, our family members and close relatives used to visit our home as they generally dwells in the nearby villages of the district and in every year they came to pass their holidays in our home as our father was the elder of all and they called our father Gyan Dada. Thus during the festival days our home becomes full of our relatives and we used to visit puja pandals across the town like a huge team of relatives. We enjoy eating various sweets and other delicious items available in the roadside restaurants. In our childhood there were few models of toys and balloons and we often buy toys from the roadside vendors.

Durga Puja was not only an occasion of mere enjoyment but we see our elders as well as mother who arrange Xarai to offer praying in front of the Goddess.  There was another ancient arrangement of puja in the Amolapatty Namghar where our parents used to attend and offer Xarai to the Goddess Durga. Our mother showed her best talents in singing various devotional songs and prayers in front the Goddess idol at Namghar.  In this ancient Namghar, there is a beautiful arrangement of cultural events for the festival and the main attraction of the arrangement was the four-day-long stages of different linguistic plays. There the committee  kept one evening solely for the local children. We could perform on the stage and our teachers taught us to stage a children play there every year. I could remember—while taking part in such a children play and during the performance I unfortunately forgot the dialogues and therefore tried to run the play with some sentences that I myself imagined but did not stop the play. At this all the audience as well as our teachers could not help laughing and later they called me as an intelligent boy to play such trick suddenly…

The saddest day that the puja left for us all was the Vijaya Daxami—when the idols finally immersed in the local Dikhow River and the entire atmosphere becomes very deserted and lonely that was remained much noisy and pleasant just before the emersion of the idols. I can remember the rich bonds of love, affection and unity among not only our relatives and family but also among the entire big locality irrespective of their cast or religion actively took part in the festive celebration and I think that those times were really different and everyone seemed actually happy and people loved in a state of peace during our childhood days which was difficult to find at present…

Damodar Sarmah,

Sivasagar Town.

Also Read: Sonitpur District Administration Held Preparatory Meeting For Durga Puja