(Image and video of the Bagbazar Puja by Lincoln. Thank yee)
Everyone's been about the whole town last night like there's not gonna be another puja. Even the people who sleep on the street are still tucked in in their makeshift beds at ten thirty in the morning. No one wants to wake up. Maybe if you kept on sleeping, the day wouldnt begin and night wouldnt come, and Ma didnt have to be sent away so soon. Well, we do try.
Maybe it's just my imagination, but I find Kolkata quite sad on Dashami mornings. People look wistfully at the pandals, sigh, and resign themselves to another year's wait.
Puja's a good time to introspect. Because, three days of holidays can get a little too much for just going out, sleeping, hogging, etc. So, by Navami or dashami day when I did start to think (yeah, have learnt to stop thinking nowadays. No, not meditate, just stop all thought processes until further notice), I thought of my three pujas in Kolkata, and what has happened in between.
I looked around with wide-eyed wonder the first time round. I was working with a newspaper but had already given notice. Kolkata was still not home then. I was out on all the puja nights and days. Was fascinated most by the dhaak and surprised that the kaamini/chaatim (not sure about the right name. Have got two names for this flower from two different sources.) flower bloomed just in time for the puja. It's like Ma made sure her brand of city freshener was in place before her visit.
A couple of months after the pujas, I took, what many would term, a big career leap. From gigantic mainstream to little-known but purposeful small-time. I've been doin the same thing for about two years now, with a brief gap. (It's been good, but more about my salaried work in another post.)
But the most important thing that's happened/happening personally is developing the guts to take risk. Financial ones, that is. Sometime this year I realised that if I must work my ass off, I'd be better off doin it for myself, ahem, I mean working for myself. Actually, am not really on my own, but working with Linc in his business.
It was one of the most mulled-over decisions in my life, considering that most life-defining ones have been taken in a matter of a few seconds. But I am beginning to think it's perhaps the best decision work satisfaction-wise.
Of course, this has meant a huge cut in salary plus uncertainties that tag along with any business. It has also meant a lot of belief in my self, patience, number-crunching, and daring to dream, oh, what dreams. Also, I love it.
By next Puja, I should have lots more to report. And hopefully, Ma Durga willing, lots of blogging will happen.