Mahalaya—filling colours of love in life

Bengalis biggest festival of the year, Durga Puja is just nine days away as the preparation for welcoming Maa has already started. 

The grand celebration of Durga Puja is not limited to the city of Joy, Calcutta, Delhi has also adopted the culture long time back. If you want to feel the pujo pujo bhab, just head towards Chittaranjan Park (CR Park) in Delhi to experience the full Bangaliyana.

The countdown for Durga Puja is going to end on 9th October for this year. Mahalaya marks the beginning of the grand festival of the year. 

Mahalaya—filling colours of love in life

According to Hindu lunar calendar, Mahalaya celebrated on Amavasya, the last day of the fortnight (Krishnapaksha) in the month of Ashvin. From the very next day of Mahalaya, Devipaksha starts; period of long 15-days ends with Kojakori Purnima (Lakshmi Puja). 
From Mahalaya only sculptors will start filling colours in the eyes of Durga idol.
Mahalaya also marks the end of Pitripaksha (the fortnight of the forefathers)—a 16-day long time, when Hindus performTarpan (an offering to their ancestors) by taking a dip in the holy river Ganga or other nearby water bodies. 

When both periods, Pitripaksha and Devipaksha juxtapose marks the pious beginning of Mahalaya.
The significance of Mahalaya for Bengalis is special as it brings ultimate happiness for the next 10 days. And Bengalis are celebrating the homecoming of Maa in a very interesting way from ages. Doesn’t matter, where a Bengali stays, irrespective of their age, each and everyone will wake up before dawn to welcome Maa Durga and her children listening to the Mahishasurmardini—a narration of creating Goddess Durga to kill Mahishasur.
Listing to the Mahishasurmardini composition is something, which Bengalis are following since 1931 (approximately 87 years). The very first composition was vocal by the legendary Birendra Krishna Bhadra in the year 1931 which has become a synonym to Mahalaya till date.
Every Bengali has grown up listening to Mahishasurmardini through different mediums. In early days it was radio only, which used to play the recorded version of Birendra Krishna Bhadra at the crack of the dawn to create the emotional ambience. Later on, TV channels started broadcasting Mahishasurmardini in the form of dance and acting.

In Delhi, B Block Durga Puja Samity, Chittaranjan Park has started doing Mahishasurmardini live on stage at their pujo mandap, which is something very interesting. The live narration of creating Goddess Durga will fill you with energy and strength. I am looking forward this year to experience the same.

“Listing the Chandipath live is the best feeling in the world. It gives us goosebumps when you hear it live on the stage. B Block Durga Puja Samiti is organising live Mahalaya from last eight years,” said Sayan Acharya, member of B Block Durga Puja Samity, Chittaranjan Park.

With time the mediums may have changed but the emotions are same. It is believed that Maa brings positivity and helps us build strong relations…. The main five days of Durga Puja is the ultimate source of happiness.

This year Durga Puja is starting from 9th October (Mahalaya) to 19th October (Dashami). I wish all my readers a very Happy Durga Puja.
- Rajat Das

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