If Saraswati caught me buried under khichudi

I am not a worshiper. In the sense, I don't worship idols. I believe in monotheism and the omnipresence of a spirit and also Karma. But that's irrelevant here.

What I'm trying to say is, despite all of the above, I still love pujos. Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kaali...you just name it! However, like most of my fellow peers, I don't have vivid Saraswati Pujo memories from childhood. Largely because I was born and brought up in a Brahmo family, went to a Brahmo school and an atheist (?) college. So I haven't really had harrowing times managing my Baashanti saree as a young-adult, nor do I remember serving pujor bhog to hundreds of people sitting in intimidating rows with shaal patar plates in front of them. But what I do remember is pandal-hopping and dipping my precious five fingers into mounds of khichudi, laabra, baadhakopi, chutney etc and satiating the believer in me. So many years on, the last ritual remains unchanged.

I was cribbing last evening about the possibility of a lame Saraswati Pujo this year (the only excitement being Tune Maari Entriyaan blazing in loudspeakers from either sides of my balcony) to be spent mostly in office. After discovering that our Kolkata bureau very religiously offers prayers to Goddess Saraswati, a flicker of hope (of khichudi and laabra of course) dawned upon me.

But what made the day ten times more special was a sudden invitation from a junior from school, and a very dear friend. The excitement of meeting decades-old friends was definitely there, but what surpassed it multifold was the anticipation of a plateful of khichudi and the usual fare. And boy! Did I not gorge on it! All the pujo paraphernelia were neatly arranged on a plate and I dug into it in merriment as the others were busy recollecting school memories. A couple of pieces of German chocolate and a cup of black tea later, I was good to go. Alas, I was too busy eating that the food vanished even before I realised I should capture it. So here's a google version of what a typical plate of steaming hot khichudi is. But this, or any other khichudi from any part of the country, can never be a match for pujor khichudi.


  1. Heehee .... Pritha diiiii ... I am that junior !!!!


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