Kolkata: For every Bengali, anywhere in the world, the Durga Puja is special. Every year the Pandal hoppers witnessed a unique Durga idol at Bhowanipore.
Generally overlooked by the Pandal hoppers are the Durga Pujas held privately in several families some of whom were affluent and stalwarts in yesteryear, specially during the Colonial Regime. Although the financial condition is not affluent as it was in earlier yet. These families till date perform Durga Puja with dedication maintaining all the rituals. The Pujas are all of 100 years, some even 200 and 300 years old.
The Durga Idol of Dey Family is one of a kind. The most interesting part is the Demon Mahishasur, who symbolizes the British Empire as it wears a decorative long coat and Hat. The hair and mustache of the demon is painted golden like an Englishman. The Dey Family Members have no idea as to what was the reason of such an attire of the demon. The Thakur-dalan is painted in white and if you entered the house then you see the Thakurdalan where artisans is making goddess Durga.
The family members cannot remember that was Ramlal dey a freedom fighter or not? But Ramalal Dey, was a cotton businessman. From that income, Ramlal Dey started worshiping Durga Puja in Bhowanipore in 1870. But family members did not remember why Mahisashur wore coat and pant.
Family member Sumanta Dey said, “We do not know why Mahisasur gave such an attire, but many people said that Ramlal gave such form to protest against the British Raj. Since then, it has been maintained. The ten-armed warrior-goddess riding a majestic lion vanquishing the vicious green buffalo demon (Mahishasur) who wore coat-pant like British man. ”
The Durga Puja started with sound of Dhaak in Sasthi and on Saptami, the Kolabou was taken to the Babughat. Kumari Puja is performed on the day of auspicious Asthami. Animals are not sacrificed, instead of the Rice pumpkin are sacrificed on that day. Rice, fruits and vegetables gave to the Durga goddess. All the confectionery of the Puja are still made at home. At last, On Dasami, the Durga goddess taken to the ghat by shoulder.
Hundred fifty years ago Ramlal Babu started the cotton business. The business is still running and Goodess Durga is also worshiped with pomp and vigor and it also remains a point of interest why Mahisasur wears such an attire?
Reported By- Souptik Banerjee
Edited By- Piku Mukherjee