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Friday, November 26, 2010

The Puja Gourmet! ;P

What would have happened to atheists like me if Prasad were not there in Pujas?
How could I possibly take part in the festivities if the feast were not there? Thankfully it is quite an important part (actually the only important part for me)in our pujas. Why so? You can easily understand just throwing a glance at what my mom's goddess has on her plate eveyday:



So, just for my mom's daily tiny Puja, we have here,
Narkoler narhu
Tiler narhu
Khoier moa
Kadma
Batasa
Chal-kola
Khejur
Guava
Banana

Usually my mom also gets sweets, in addition, and all seasonal fruits. So, you can imagine what happens in the large-scale pujas like Durgapuja organised by the local clubs or Saraswati pujas in schools. Oh! Sitting all classmaltes together on a row with banana leaves in front of us and khichuri, begun bhaja, bandhkopir tarkari, mishti doi, rasogolla appearing on it one after thee other --- makes me so nostalgic (read:drooling). Saraswati puja happens usually end January. The weather is wonder full with winter leaving and spring approaching. The fragrance of Shiuli flower (also of the food ;P)is in the air.
Durga puja Prasad was forbidden for us because father was atheist at home. (Actually all sorts of Prasad were forbidden but Goddess Saraswati, the Puja and all related fun used to take place in school, so naturally beyond the reach of the home ministry.)Usualy young members of the local Puja-commitee or club used to distribute Prasad-packets door-to-door. Had they ever come across father unfortunately, either the Prasad had been rudely refused with the door slammed on the poo boy's face or it had to go directly to the bin but to stomach when, rarely though, we managed to open the door. The Puja khichuri, with a big piece of potato in it, and the ladrha (the special mixed vegetable curry)always has a very special taste for me.
The Pooja feast is always strictly vegetarian for us. Even onoin and garlic cannot be added to any dish since those are non-veg.:) And no masoor daal which is also non-vegetarian.

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