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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's a Kali Puja with a Difference

Malda, November 12, 2012: Kali Puja has begun one day ahead with all the fanfare as the traditional ten-headed kali was worshiped today at English Bazaar Byam Samity. More importantly, unlike other community 'pujas' this worship was held in broad daylight.

English Bazaar Byayam Samity was established in 1930. Behind the apparent muscle flexing the youths here had a close nexus with the Swadeshis. Nowonder, the British govt. had no sweet relation with them. Apart from nourishing their muscles the youths began to worship goddess Kali, as a symbol of strength. And for the idol they chose one curved at the wall of Bindubasini cave. With ten faces, ten hands and as many legs the image at once draws attention. More interestingly Kali is worshipped here a day before on the day light of Chaturdashi instead of Amabasya night. Perhaps the thought behind it was to show the strength in 'broad day light' as quipped one of this year's
Long passed the days of British. But the 'Dash Mukho Kali' is still worshipped every year with all its traditional ritual and glamour. Rather a day before the festive day this event can attract more devotees than the others. In 1983 the temple also was constructed for the goddess.

Today the Puja has begun in the morning with usual chanting of mantras and the sacrifice of goats. If there was no illumination or decoration of modern pandal, the spontaneity of the local people was there to make it up. Nataraj Mukherjee, on behalf of the Puja committee claimed, "We are very particular to maintain the tradition notwithstanding the glitter and glamour of the big budget puja."

In a typical form of tantra this idol of Rudrani is worshipped. The dark complexion with ten heads is to compel anybody's fear at the first sight. This 'Mahakali' idol is, however, not unique in the state, but "ours is the oldest" claimed Mukherjee.

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