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Friday, September 25, 2009

The Times of Navratri- Edition 4

Sometime in 2008, Mumbai J

Midterms, horrible they are. I always thought the worst gets over after coming to a b-school, this is over and above worst. Midterms are on and Falguni sings daily next to the hostel, well Navratri used to be different earlier.

This Navratri hasn't been great, it had been just Okay, before it turned slightly awesome. Till now just one day it felt like Navratri as I kept a fast and went with one of my friend to Vrindi to have sabudana vada. Apart from that it hardly feels like one, b-school surely kills all the festivities and festivals.

So our midterms ended and a senti Ajayjeet cribbing about not being at home on Durga Pooja for the first time in his life told me about Lokhandwaala Pooja. (senti Ajayjeet and Tommie had also tricked one of the profs using this sentipanna to get a deadline extended J). By being as dramatic as Ajayjeet can get, he convinced me. Another option to celebrate was that few of my friends were heading for the Falguni garba.

Garba- well childhood and Gujarat I had lot of it but Durga Pooja, haven't been to one for many years now. Ajayjeet's pitch of having khichdi, mishit dohi & bong sweets finally had me in. Although he also pitched about Bong Girls (arguably amongst the best in the country), but that was a point of parity in both the options (Garba Costumed girls giving them equal, if not more competitionJ)

So I, Ajayjeet, and lot of us went for the durga pooja, few of them also opted for Garba.

As I entered the pendal, it was time to get nostalgic, the beautiful pendal, the sound of shankha, the dhol & the beautiful idol of Maa Durga. We had a few sweets and then Ajayjeet with couple of guys met Abhijeet- the Singer. Awesome guy he is, talked nicely to all of us and arranged entry passes for the Euphoria show, for all 28 of us!!!

So we entered, danced, singed and enjoyed that night with Palash & co. One disappointment was the fact that the crowd was short on bong girls, or maybe I didn't spot them J, ajayjeet does that too well ;)

Not an elaborate celebration, but enough for b-school days, more than enough.

p.s. - I have forgotten about episode 3, i.e. the Bangalore days, sadly didn't visit Mysore Dusshera, but don't remember anything at all on what we did?

Technorati Tags: Navratri

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Times of Navratri- Edition 2

Sometime in 2002, somewhere in Gujarat

Hostel life, weird quizzes & scary electronics course make up my life nowadays. Although I am enjoying riding cycle daily to college and me and my roomie Sajeev have been losing weight, and lots of it. I enjoy programming, and lot of bak bak we do in hostels. But midterms are coming up.

Bored by studies me and Prajjwal were thinking of only one thing, Navratri. Apart from my memories in childhood and Prajjwal's quest of finding cool places in city another motivator was Vishal- our hostel supervisor. His story of condom sales spiking up 10 times during Dandiya season in Gujarat & all nooks and corners of building being occupied by couples doing you-know-what was enough to fuel… fuel us to goto Garba.

So we tried to convince everyone, starting from our dear 83 block. Puneet & Krunal; the lovely legged Sainy, simple Sajeev, tanabesh & his peacocked roomie. Prajjwal asked a few girls, but given the midterm was on, no one was ready for it. So me and Prajjwal begin our journey towards the nearby Sector's garba.

Rs. 10 entry was well within our budgets, although it sounded insane to me that people paid for entering garba (of course later on I came to know about paying 1000 bucks for entering it J). As we entered it was a mix of nostalgia, teenage fantasies and bhakti bhavna all packed into one.

Well we entered and kept on watching junta dancing, and we kept on watching and watching.

Garba is the bestest form of dance ever I thought, and Prajjwal agreed, still trying to look for his favorite Dilli-ish girls. But he too lost interest and then we just immersed into the excitement of dance & music. We didn't enter the arena, firstly we didn't wear proper attire and secondly we were too shy to dance in front of these awesome performers.

We were standing and we found our ever sweating- rock music loving- calculus prof. Nice Guy he is. So we chatted with Prof. Chatterjee on a zillion things. An awesome night where we were mesmerized by dance, the devotion for Devi Ma & and slightly disappointed at our Prof. not offering us a cold drink.

And the initial thoughts, well in teenage days they are never gone, but still parked for sometime J

2 years later

Garba time in college, the arena is ready, guys dressed up in Kurta-Pyjama, girls shining in their traditional attire. That day most of them had taken a bath it seems ( a popular perception within my batch that like guys, even girls were lazy enough not to take a bath J) and sort of put some make up too. A rarity again J

Well we danced and had loads of fun, this time it was post the midterms too.

Few days later

Chachu said, yeh ek aitihaasik kshaan hoga, jab hum Ravan ka dahan karenge. So all of us started from a few Bamboo frames, loads of Fevicol (everyone smelled of it that day), crackers and whole loads of masti constituted the process of making our college's first ravan. Painted black and around 15 feet tall, it was constructed on the A-D wing junction and carried to the ground. The night was fun as the Ravan caught fire and Chachu set up his famous havan later.

But us raat sab Pyaase hi soye the J

Final Year

Puneet still believed in the first year Vishal theory, and he insisted that during our final year we try out the Hot Shot Garba at Karnavati Club. For a Rs. 200 entry it was worth the no. of well tattoed backs we saw, and heard a 3rd/4th runner up Indian Idol singer. All of the city's super rich were there and it seems lot of so called setting is done there. Still this one didnt beat the simple garba of sectors near our college.

And Puneet still remains, well he remains... :)

Technorati Tags: Navratri

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Times of Navratri- Edition 1

Sometime in 1998, somewhere in Chattisgarh

Navratri is the best time of the year. Like yesterday I left from home at around 5 PM. After our customary cricket match at the abandoned tennis court we cycled to the Pooja Area. The Bengali Samiti in township begins the Durga Pooja ceremony on Shashti and so the preparations were on for that. After that me with few of my friends moved to Santosh Chaat Bhandaar near Indra complex. After a few paani puris we visited the Navdurga Pendal next to Ambedkar Auditorium. Here the Devi there for all 9 days of Navratri.

After that we moved to the house of Ayush, next to his house in a Badminton playing area Chauhan uncle organizes Garba. We didn't dance but went upto the terrace on Ayush's block and were just looking at Garba & especially our new found interest of ogling at girls. Well Nipunjai says that there are couple of nice girls on the other end of the circle so we watched there, and then we watched a whole gang of them. Also behind them were the so called lafoots of the township. The difference between us and them, well we move around on cycles, them on motorcycles; we hide and watch girls and at max giggle post that, but they are quite visible and vocal in the way they WATCH.

Anyway after lot of bird watching we moved to Jagran program at Navdurga Pendal. Its very peaceful and the best part is almost everyone from the township is there.

Today I woke up late. The best part about this navaratri is that this one is after the exams, when it happens before the exams it kills the fun. Well today is when the Durga sits in the Mandir complex so should get ready for that.

After the morning pooja there is Bhog. All the Kids are supposed to help in serving the Bhog to all who come to eat. Again the whole community is here to pray and have Prasad. So we served everyone and btw did I describe the Prasad.

A sweet, but well that wasn't the attraction. You have Khichdi & chutney. Superbly awesome Bengali khichdi cooked in Desi Ghee, and along with that Chutney made of Khajoor and Papita. Awesomely awesome…

All who helped to serve get Extra Ghee as reward!!!

4 days later…

Another Navratri ended L. Dusshera was awesome yesterday and so were the Durga Devi visarjan in the morning, we went on the truck to the lake and danced a lot on the way. After that in the evening I watched the Dusshera from the balcony of Indian Coffee House munching on Special Masala Dosa and Frooti (felt like sitting in Royal Box at Wimbledon). Dusshera is like a mela, everyone from everywhere on earth assembles on the KV football ground. And the fireworks were awesome.

Now school will start again, boring…

Technorati Tags: Navratri