Oct 18, 2005

The indomitable human spirit…

Waiting at the Howrah Railway station, sweating profusely, it was a welcome sight to see the Steel Express cruise in, bound for Jamshedpur. Hoards of people flocked to the “General Compartment” to board the running train. This is the most natural thing to happen in almost all of the stations in India, be it the local trains of Mumbai or any other part of the country. And almost as unnaturally they let go, as one of the passengers slid into the gap between the door to the compartment and the platform. He held on, even as people ran after him, trying to lend a helping hand. Some distance away the train came to a halt and he clambered over, unharmed and seemingly used to such experiences as part of life.

As I recall my drive from the Dum Dum Airport to the station it was drizzling and pouring in parts. There was ankle deep water and in the midst of all the slush and rain, there were cheery people in flashy clothes celebrating “Shasti”, out to get a glimpse of the deity Durga, paying their tribute to the victory of good over evil.

Life just goes on, and I reached Jamshedpur hours later, the weather was sultry and a huge bunch of roses along with a smiling friend awaited me. Over the course of the next few days, “Saptami through Dusshera”, the whole town was on the streets. Young and old, rich and poor came flocking alike in bright clothes and more importantly with radiant smiles. The “Dhaaks” played on for four days and the whole place was lit up with smiles and cheery spirits. All this in the oppressive heat with intermittent showers to break the monotony.

“Ma Durga” was bid farewell on what is known as “Bijoya Dashami” after a play of vermilion by all married ladies. As I stood on the 9th floor of the apartments at the riverfront watching the sun go down along with the slowly sinking idols, it begins to drizzle softly. It feels strangely peaceful and more than that am glad some moments are shared.


golliwog said...

i have to add my bit on durga puja in singapore... full with a murti from kumartuli, mahishasura mardini stotram, and purple orchids for pushpanjali! and there was rabindra sangeet being meted out by a below-eight population to an audience who were too busy chatting. the master of ceremonies was urging some 'notun protibha' to come up and sing some more, while the audience moved on to the dinner buffet. surrounded by bengalis dressed in their puja best, and loud exclamations in the lovely language, we were a bunch of expats soaking in the familiar atmosphere.
boss, maja aa gaya!

Ginger said...

... and here's a bit of Durga Puja in London!http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/sanhitach/album?.dir=ec57&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos

golliwog said...

hey ginger,
nice to hear of durga puja in londond! s'pose pujas around the world make us 'man united'!
yuck... that was terrible!!