Pujo Diary 2015 - Saptami

Shubho Bijoya to all my readers. Once I read somewhere that a Bengali's life is nothing but a journey from one Pujo to another, that the best yardstick that we use to compare our lives over the course of time is not new year, not Christmas, not Diwali, but our very own Durga Pujo. One of our favourite topic of discussion is, 'hey what were we doing this time last year?' or 'was last year's Pujo better than this year?'
I thought this year's Pujo was going to be a catastrophe (mainly because my best friend was hijacked by her husband), but it actually turned out to be a very good one. And of course Durga Puja is Bengali's very own Fashion Week; we wait the whole year for this 5-6 days to flaunt the best outfit that we have been keeping aside for such a long time.
So here goes my Pujo Diary, a visual journey through the few days of absolute fun, frolic and craziness. Today is the first part.
On Saptami, I went out with S to have lunch. This year I did not dare go for pandal hopping owing to the mad crowd and frenzy. Just visited the quiet (read empty) para pandal and went to Chilli Wok later.

Skirt: Global desi

The lunch buffet at Chilli Wok was a delectable one. Chilli Wok is a perfect destination for Pan-Asian delicacies. On Saptami afternoon the place was blissfully empty.

Schezuan fish, Sesame chicken, Noodles, Chicken in sesame cucumber salad, Seafood salad

Lamb curry, Prawn in garlic sauce, Gumbo chicken, Steamed fish in mustard sauce, Steamed rice

Mint julep

Vanilla/mango pastry, Orange soufflé, Crunchy chocolate roll
After lunch we took a stroll through the Park Street. S had almost left his precious umbrella at the restaurant. We discussed the issue of forgetfulness for some time and I bragged about how I had never lost my umbrella. We left Park Street behind and entered Camac Street when our discussion shifted to the latest news on commercial banks of India. We explained some really difficult (and boring) terms to each other. No Pujo takes place in this particular area of Calcutta and most of the offices were closed due to the holiday season. We kept walking for sometime and then did some last minute shopping at Westside and then took a cab home. On the way we saw people who had only started their daily quota of pandal-hopping. The entire city was decorated in lights and hoardings about Pujo pandals and sponsored advertisements. The roadside fast food stall owners were busy preparing chowmein and egg roll at such a speed that could give any celebrity chef a run for their money. The roadsides were barricaded by thick and sturdy bamboo railings and police  and the volunteers were keeping a close watch that every one was one the other side of the barricade. Despite the fact that I used to be one of those crazy pandal hoppers even until last year (or perhaps I still am), all the way I kept bitching about the 'stupid' crowd and how much I hated the frenzy. S is a calm person and he knows how to handle me. He was just nodding along in assent. We were home and Saptami came to the end.
Another day gone.