Hello, Photographers! The Sharadotsava is coming! Are you all geared up?
Yes, we know it as the great Durgotsava or simply, Durga Puja. And, where is it best pronounced? Of course, in Kolkata, the city of joy, where else? We, the Bengalis, go annually crazy for this Hindu festival, don’t we?
We seek blessings of Goddess Durga for a prosperous year ahead. Ah! The alluring incense floating everywhere and the rhythmic beats of the dhakis! Durga Puja is so close to our own heart.
So, how exciting would be to capture the colourful moments of the event within a camera lens? The idols, the pandals, the decorations, and the joy – everything needs to be remembered and reminisce until the next year and beyond, isn’t it?
Now, here’s a little list of how and what to capture in your camera during this Durga Puja!
- Start with the creation of the idols:
It’s a delight to watch how Mahisasurmardini is sculpted from clay and hay, and turned into such a beautiful piece of art. If you are working for some media agency, or have taken up any photojournalism course in India, you will know where exactly to look for the sculptors in West Bengal. Yes, Kumortuli is the name of the place.
Tread through the dusty lanes a month before the puja to see how humans breathe life into clay goddesses. And yes, don’t forget to carry your camera. You will always cherish what you would click. Again, Star Cement has promised to surprise us this season. You can try your luck in that, too.
- 12th October: Mahalaya:
Capture in your lens how the priest performs the Mahalaya Shraddha on this day. This ritual marks the onset of Devipaksha and the end of Pitripaksha. In a layman’s tongue, it marks the beginning of the much awaited celebration. Don’t miss it.
- 19th October: Mahashashti:
This is the day when the Goddess is believed to set foot in this mortal world. She has to be greeted by the dhak beats. You should capture the ritual of unveiling her face. Kalaparambho, Bodhon, Amontron and Adibas – remember to click all the events.
- 20th October: Mahashaptami:
Okay, so here starts our Durga Puja. The Nabapatrika or the new Goddess is given a predawn bath known as the Mahasnana. By the way, did you know that the ritual demands the use of nine different plants? Yes, you should have enough space in your digital camera for each step.
- 21st October: Mahaashtami:
Mahaashtami begins with deep, heart-touching recital of Sanskrit hymns. It is the day when people go to offer anjali to the Goddess in the pandals. Many people also follow the ritual of Kumari Puja, or the worship of unwed girls on this day.
See, your camera has so much to capture, especially, the Sandhi Puja, which in the windup of the Mahaashtami, and the beginning of the Mahanavami.
- 22nd October: Mahanavami:
It is the final day of the puja. As the Sandhi Puja ends, the Mahanavami begins. You must click how the Bhog is offered to the Goddess on this day. Well, this is the same Prasad you will be receiving later. Keep your camera and your tummy ready.
- 23rd October: Vijaya Dashami:
Sadly, we all will have to big Goddess Durga adieu on this day. She will be journeying to her father’s home to come back for our sake again, next year.
Yes, her farewell is going to be grand.
You must capture images of her heartbreaking departure and seek peace in the fact that the good has finally won over evil.
So, photographers, get ready to unleash the amazing photojournalist in you this season! Happy a very happy Durga Puja!