By Himika Ganguly

"Is it the sound of Mahalaya?"
"In a big big way."

"Is it the sudden outburst of festive text messages?"
"Yes that too... in an age of extreme social media, how can that not be!"
"Is it carrying two dozens of high quality fabric stitched into the finest I can afford into the changing rooms to see the sisterhood already lined up with more than what I piled up for trial sake?"
"Don't even start! That's the inevitable path."

And why not. Amidst the heart capturing echoes of the shonkho (conch) and dhunir naach(dance with flames in hand), the pure smells of flowers, incense and bhog, the fusion of colours in multitude that come together only this one time of the year , the captures of a celebration of feminism that is fondly titled shindoor khela(vermilion Holi), the shringaar and the loud sounds of mirth and above all the indescribable beauty of that sight of Ma Durga which no human can describe accurately enough as it is more overwhelming than what any heart can hold... for Bengal, Pujo is coming is grander than... Winter is coming!

Durga Pujo! The one time of the year when Ma finally comes among us. Well isn't she always among her devotees, yes ofcourse. But we are a civilisation with the greatest mythology seeped in our memories and texts which document each event and describe the magnitude of it in great lengths. Durga Pujo is the celebration of how the Universal Mother Goddess slayed the universal demon, an evil Mahishasura. It is a victory of positive over all negativity and a time to believe once again that no matter how terrible your situation is, it can be triumphed over with consistent good, unstoppable bravery and absolute faith. That calls for celebration.

And how do we celebrate! With great beauty and artistic exuberance which has been native to the state of Bengal, the most gorgeous Ma Durga who arrives with familia- Ganesh, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kartik, the pandals that turn into the biggest parties of the year with the Jai Ma Durga party anthem, the Pushpanjaali flower offerings to the Goddess's feet which is a must for the year to thank Ma Durga for arriving this year again, the yummiest Khichudi bhog, beguni, paayesh and roshogolla, the dhaakai jaamdaani, tussar, gorod, baluchuri sarees adorned by colours that represent the most bewitching beauty that again is the most desirable attribute of the fierce and yet loving and absolutely gorgeous Bengali women, and many many more little little things that together mark Bengal's biggest pride and celebration, the days of Shoshti, Shaptami, Ashtami, Navami and finally Dusshera which is the time to bid Mother farewell one more time... this journey represents something very basic and yet vast at its centre.

Believe and she is there.
Believe and she has looked at you.
Believe and she is aware of your desires.
Believe and she accepts what you are happily offering to her.
Believe and she has loved you... accepted you!
Believe... and it is all set in motion!

With this belief deeply ingrained in my heart, I wish you all a Very Happy Durga Pujo! Don't you worry...be happy and rejoice to the sound of Dhaak.
Because, this life, is wonderful and...
Ma Durga, is smiling at you! She stays in your heart and soul, now and forever!

Himika Ganguly

Himika Ganguly is a marketing and communications professional who has done extensive work in the fields of brand building, content writing, events management, social media management and public relations for organisations that are leaders in their respective sectors. She is also a published author with two fictional books titled Her Day in His Life is and The Great Indian Matrimonial Tamasha and she is currently finishing two more novels and is gearing up to put them for public viewing soon. Himika is also a visiting faculty in Management colleges. You can follow Himika on Twitter @himika1711 and at www.facebook.com/storiesofhimika on Facebook. Alternatively you can get in touch with her on himi.1711@gmail.com.