Long after the immersions will be over, gloom has already pervaded the air – the five days that went by in a jiffy after the wait of a year. As the ghats get security ready, with the immersions having already started, and many organisers going the eco -friendly way, that sinking feeling has set in.
Staying true to tradition, the pujas of the royal households are already done with the immersions. The annual ritual of sindoor khela, though subdued this year, still took place, reminding one that it’s again a wait for another year. Though the lights will still be there for quite some days now, it will still be a reminder of the days gone by when people soaked in as much happiness as they could in a festival that has crossed the four-day celebration mark years ago.
Festivities now begin from Mahalaya. In the immediate next few days to come, new food stalls that had come up for some brisk business will be winding up, the surroundings will be comparatively cleaner with overflowing garbage bins being removed, streets will go back to the routined humdrum, traffic will irk people as usual, and the chats of what it was will fill up the silence, people, reluctant to come out of the festive mood, will go about their work.
The crowd now will be of the many Durgas heading for adieu, decorated gloriously in sad send-off, followed by followers, and dhakis drumming their last beat for this year. Some wait on balconies to catch glimpses, old age, and ailments didn’t let them participate, revellers have retired with tired legs and heavy hearts, as thinly clad children on the streets will be witness to the removal of lights dimming their eyes.
As the outside wears the pall of gloom, and the air hangs heavy, the smell of Shiuli will still pervade in a bitter-sweet reminder of all that was. Subho Bijoya!