It is Pujo time. And we can't keep calm!
Durga Pujo (as Bengalis call it) is that time of the year when even nature starts dropping hints regarding the change in weather. You can feel that slight chill in the morning breeze and smell the fragrance of shiuli (night jasmine).
What Navratri is for the northern part of India, Durga Pujo or Durga Puja is for West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Kolkata is at its best during Pujo time. While you wake up with the sound of dhaak and chantings in the morning, the evening ends with aarti and pandal hopping. Also, the traditional Bengali sweets! How can one survive without them in this season?
In case you can't make it to Kolkata this year and are juggling between deadlines and office meetings in Delhi-NCR, we have a good news for you. And a name to latch onto -- a place you must visit during your pandal hopping spree, when in NCR.
Sahasrabdi Durga Puja Committee in Sector-31, Gurugram, celebrates the festival in the most authentic way. From pandal decoration and sumptuous Bengali cuisines to assuring an eco-friendly puja, this pandal will awaken the child in you.
The year 2019 marks the 20th year of Durga Puja celebrations here. This year, the committee is making the celebration grand by conducting multiple cultural activities. Even the pandal is a replica of an ancient temple in Bengal.
Besides this, artisans from West Bengal and Mumbai have been roped in for the performances to make it a memorable event.
If you are a foodie and love trying different dishes, you should straight away head to this place for mouth-watering Bengali delicacies. From Aloo Poshto to Labra and Luchi -- you name it and they have it.
Langar will also be conducted on October 5, 6 and 7 and it will be open to all. Having said that, the puja pandal committee will ensure that there is no plastic waste. Sal leaf cutlery has been brought from Kolkata and paper glasses will replace plastic ones at this puja pandal.
The committee will also organise a blood donation camp -- in coordination with the Rotary Club.
"The committee has also collaborated with several NGOs for philanthropic support. Senior citizens living in old-age homes will also participate in the festivities. There will be special arrangements of cultural performances, gifts, and lunch for them," Subhasis Maitra, General Secretary of the committee told India TV.
Even the idol immersion, he continued, would be done in an eco-friendly way -- Green Visarjan, as they say.
"The pandal committee with several other puja pandals in Gurugram will dig an artificial pond and immerse Goddess Durga's idol in them. After the procession, the pit will be covered with soil," he said, adding, "Small puja pandals across the country should follow suit."
So, what are you waiting for? Grab that ethnic attire and head straight to this pandal.
Happy pandal hopping!