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Living in Calcutta is an unthinkable experience and cannot be described in mere words. Most of the year, it’s the hot sultry city where it rains for four months, foiling outdoor plans & cricket matches at Eden Gardens, but come October, the explosion of festivals one after the other is something everyone looks forward to. This picture has been taken on 30th September, the last day of our (Calcutta Medical) college fest, Rhapsody. Location: 88, College Street. This day, and this image overflowing with lights, herald the beginning of the festive month October in Bengal.
Every year, with friends and family, I throw myself into the festive joyride from Rhapsody, and then continue through Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kalipuja, Diwali, Bhai fota. Especially during the Durga Puja, starting from Choturthi (4th day of Devi Paksha on the Bengali Lunar Calendar) we walk through the streets, pandal hopping from one to next, reliving the fun and frolic over and over again, till Dashami (10th day). Bengalis breathe for this season. Bengalis breathe for this month of lights. It brings millions of memories to us, which we shift through, recalling the enjoyment, euphoria, arguement, adda, relationships, love, like, hate and every other emotion in existence.
This year, we didn’t have to wait long. Since the college fest was arranged at a later period, the day when Rhapsody ended was the day Devi Paksha began with Mahalaya (1st day) and the recital of Mahishasuramardini on AM Radio. Once there’s a beginning, there’s an end, or so they say. But I look at it differently. Like every year, after it all ends, I’ll wait for next October to come spring on us with potential to make new memories and new experiences.
I’m nostalgic even now. I’ve loved, argued, gossiped, planned and prepared every second of this month, and now writing on WordPress is another wonderful addition to remember. Our streets will be filled with decorative lights and festoons, announcing the coming of the best days of the year. I’m proud to belong here in Calcutta, to be a Bengali. And I equally love to remember every bit of this season which has made me what I am today. Thank you.