Indian Festivals Used To Represent Excitement And Tolerance, But Does That Hold True Today?
To go see the Durga puja pandals, we would be brimming with anticipation and curiosity since morning, and we would stop reading or writing, which used to be our only work at that time. I would always try to find a way to escape from studying. Usually, we would reach the market in the afternoon, around 2:30 pm, looking forward to the mela (carnival) and the big Durga pandal in the middle of the market, with bright lights and shining colors. One of our duties was to meet with Gopal chacha (uncle), my Abba’s (father) classmate and best friend. We would end our visits with delicious sweets at Kedar chacha’s eatery, which was one of my favorite places to eat sweets. I have been missing my place in Durga puja celebrations for quite some time, as I have been away from my native place.
I don’t know if I will have the guts to visit those Puja pandals in the ‘new’ India anymore, where anyone can be lynched based on suspicion alone, and because hatred for others is being propagated day and night.