It was officially the first day of my Durga Puja Vacation. So I’d planned to get out of bed only at 8 o’clock in the morning. Quite to my astonishment, I found myself awake way early, at around 06:30 AM in the morning! I guess I’ve gotten too used to my school routine.
Suddenly, the phone rang.
“…… Where’s dad?”
“Oh! Just tell him that the idol’s arriving in another 5 minutes.”
Great! Half the house is still asleep.
It didn’t take long to wake up dad. Within a couple of minutes, we were already on our way downstairs, armed with a camera in hand each.
I thought we had been late. Not actually. We were early. Not too early, as I was about to discover, but nevertheless early.
Prompted by the reception party, I looked out through the barred gate. Yes, a tiny little truck was visible at the end of the road. All of us guessed it was the idol, and so it was.
The truck was soon through the gate, and pulled up, face back, in front on the pandal.
I’m getting tired on writing now. And yes, remember they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. So here’s the visual.
On Mahalaya, Maa Durga is called to come to Earth. This day marks the beginning of the 10 days of the festival. This year, Mahalaya was October 12. She is welcomed by a ceremony only on Panchami, the fifth day (she takes so long presumably to pack her bags perhaps), and she descends to Earth only on Sashti, the next (sixth) day.
The day when the idol arrived was only October 16, Panchami was still 2 days away. Since Maa Durga hasn’t yet arrived on Earth, but her embodiment (the idol) has, her spiritual absence is symbolized by keeping her face covered till Panchami.
We had committed the blunder of not covering her face on the journey. This was rectified only after she was placed on the mandap.
Once we were done with that, we discovered that the weapons that go on her 10 hands were still at the shop! Soon, people were enroute to bring them home, and it arrived after about half an hour in what looked like an orange box of chocolates.
Once we were done with that, the day’s business (at least for then) came to an end. Being Bengalis, many of us soon crept away for some discussion before getting back home and having breakfast.
Remember, festivities commence only from Sunday!