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Here Comes Pujo!

Durga Puja is the most important festival for the people of West Bengal, the Eastern Indian state that has been home to three Nobel Laureates – Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, and Mother Teresa – as well as Oscar awardee Satyajit Ray. Durga Puja, or Pujo as it is usually referred to, ushers in a sense of well-being, with Diwali following close on its heels. The timing is just right: the sweltering heat, and the post-monsoon humidity gives way to Sharat or autumn....

The Business of Festivals

The Business of Festivals

What is special about Durga Puja is that it’s a community celebration. In Calcutta, specially, almost every neighbourhood has a Puja Committee to organise the Puja in their locality, every year. Come September and the Committee members begin to meet at each other’s houses and chalk out plans for grand celebrations over endless rounds of cha(tea) and adda (discussion). Anyone can qualify – all one needs is boundless enthusiasm. These people set up the pandal or the tents that house the festivities....

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