I am now back from my holiday in West Bengal. The Durga Puja was really nice and there was an air of festivity. It gave a very nice scene. Also we had picnics at three beach spots: Digha and Mandarmoni. The Puja photos are available on the Photo Gallery on the Album “Durga Puja in West Bengal”. It is available on this link. This year’s photos have a prefix “2008”.
Here is the full story:
Vacations are very necessary for a change in the monotony of our daily lives. They refresh us and revitalize our senses. However, I could not enjoy my summer vacations at all and I was feeling even more tired within myself. But a few months later, there was our half-yearly exam. After it was over, there was ample time to go for a vacation. It was our autumn break.
I was already too tired to do anything after the exams. I gloomily retraced my steps back home. But I was beside myself with joy when I came to know that my parebts had planned a vacation in West Bengal for the Durga Puja. So we went shopping for essential items. We came back and packed our items to get ready for the trip.
The next day (5th October), we took a Jet Airways flight for Kolkata. However, we did not stop there. We did not want to face the crowds and noise of Kolkata. Instead, we wished to enjoy ourselves in a peaceful rural setting. As a result, we took a long distance bus to my mom’s hometown, Digha, which is about 182 kms away from Kolkata. We reached our destination in 5 hours.
At Digha, we were given a warm welcome by my grandparents, uncles and aunts. It seemed that the entire joint family was almost complete. The three of us were tired and very hungry. A sumptuous meal was prepared. We ate as much as we could. After that, we went to bed.
The day after (6th October) was Saptami. We bathed and dressed ourselves in new clothes. Then we all set out to see the local pandals. Digha is a tourist town which is known for its beaches. Digha also has other attractions such as Science Centre which showcases various science exhibitions and applications. Also, the Amravati Lake is a favourite for those fond of boating. The park next to this lake is liked by children who find it a nice place for playing and having a ride on the toy train. So tourists come to visit here in large numbers. However, the locals spend an idyllic country life. But then it showed a different picture altogether. Everyone seemed to be in a festive mood. Some were hopping from pandal to pandal paying their devotions to Goddess Durga. Some were gossiping while others were strolling around. We saw four pandals. Then we spent the rest of the day enjoying on the seashore.
On Ashtami (7th October), we hired a car and set out to visit a new beach resort at Mandarmoni. My cousins also joined us on the way. We reached in two hours. Then, for the first time in my life, I saw such a clean beach resort. Unlike Digha, Mandarmoni was just a year old. So, very less number of tourists come here. The beaches were virgin and practically very little man-made garbage. The sea extended up to the horizon and the whole view was simply wonderful. Later that day, we went to Contai, hopping from pandal to pandal along the way. Contai is the sub-divisional town of the area which consists of Contai, Digha, Sankarpur, Mandarmoni and many other villages. We finally reached Contai. We saw many pandals in the town but the one which striked me most was the pandal whose interior and the idols were made entirely of sand and glue. Soon it was time to move. We went to Sankarpur. Sankarpur is a fishing spot on the Bay of Bengal. Many boats fish in the sea and tons are caught, such as pomfret, hilsa, bhetki, shrimp, etc. These fish are exported to all over India. We saw the fishing boats in the jetty after they had a tiring day out in the sea. We had our dinner at a nearby restaurant and then made our way back to Digha.
On Maha Navami, I and my dad went out for a long walk while my mom and my relatives went out for shopping. We both walked to Digha and sat on the seashore. After a while, we met the others. We then entered into one of the pandals to watch the fireworks.
On Vijaya Dashami, we went to meet our distant relatives and friends both in Digha and Contai. We also watched the immersion ceremony of the idols of Goddess Durga.
The day after (10th October), the three of us set out for my dad’s hometown in Egra. We reached there in an hour. Though Durga Puja was over, the idols in the pandals were not immersed yet. This was because they were not granted permission for the immersion. So we had time to see many pandals there. After half-an-hour, we left for my dad’s ancestral home. We stayed there for a day and enjoyed a lot with my uncles, aunts and cousins. We returned back to Digha the day after.
That day we assembled together for the last time. We chatted, played and watched movies together. My mother, grandmother and my aunt prepared a delicious feast. We all ate to our fill.
The next morning was the time to bid goodbye to most of my relatives. After staying with them for a long time, I felt very sad to part. Only my uncle and aunt followed me and my parents to Kolkata airport. Hours later, we had to say goodbye to them too. We went to the airport with heavy hearts. We reached Guwahati back on a Kingfisher flight. We reached home felling a little disappointed but still full of energy and freshness. I was feeling energized and full of zest and looked forward to attending school.
“All’s well that ends well!”
Hope you like the new pics. Also comment as much as you like!
Hey Sunit! The pictures are awesome. Love your blog!