Pujo Diaries/4

Over past few years my pujo routine has become so identical that one year seems to be the mirror reflection of the previous one. Is an impasse a good thing? Well, my ‘so-tired-and-scared-of-disappointment-and-disaster-that-it-no-longer-hopes-for-anything-better’ mind thinks that a standstill is always better than things becoming worse than they actually are. The only difference is that I did not participate in the phuchka eating competition this year.

Treat time!

Since my very childhood I have never stopped wondering how pujo comes and ends so fast? Four days pass by in the blink of an eye and before you know it the married ladies are smearing each other’s face with vermilion and you are standing in the corner thinking whose feet you are supposed to touch against your wish so people don’t think you are a ‘gone case’. In every neighbourhood or complex there is at least one person who would start bending over before anyone who is even a day older than them the moment the matador van leaves the pandal with the goddess. Whatever blessings that they gather from those elders get compensated by the silent curses hurled by people like me.

The day was soon over and so were the rituals of debi-baran and sidur khela. Seriously, how does time fly so fast during those 4-5 days? Evening had just started to set in when Ma boarded the mini truck along with the kids. As I said before, I was secretly feeling happy as the pujo was over. I could finally go back in hiding again. But then god knows why I felt a sudden lump in my throat when I looked at the vermilion-smeared face of Ma looking all gloomy even in such bright light. Every damn year. Did I again secretly ask for a few desperate personal favours from her at the time of her leaving?

Aabar esho Ma.

(The end)