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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Making, Worshiping, Immersing...All in One Night

Malda, November 13, 2012: It is all one night’s affair. Far from the glitter and glamour of other community Pujas, here goddess Kali has little light and music. There is no pandal as well. Interestingly hundreds of devotees pouring in could not see the idol as well till evening. Any curious peeping would find an artisan busy making an idol with clay which others had completed almost a month back. But the devotees thronging around the small temple had no hurry. Rather they were engaged in making the preparation of worship.

Thus is the tradition of 250-year old Sarbamangala Kali of Malda. From making idol, decorating her, worshipping with all rituals and finally immersing in the attached pond----all is one night’s affair. The making of idol could not begin before the dusk and the worship could begin only after midnight.

80 year old priest Ashok Roy, known as Ashok Thakur, has been worshipping this Kali for last 45 years. He explained, “Sarbamangala Kali belonged to the Gossain family of Gayeshpur. Their forefathers were believed to be dacoits who began to worship this Kali in this place. Covered with jungle of bet (cane), the area was known as betapukur”. It is believed that dacoits used to go out for operation after worshipping goddess Kali. “You know such an affair must be beyond the eyes of others. Thus this secret affair would have to be completed within the night”, Roy explained.

Since then the tradition went on. Today’s youths like Biswajit Kundu or Soumen Dutta too have accepted this with all seriousness. “Over the years we have seen our seniors performing this occasion with all their sincerity. We too are carrying out their legacy.”

However, beside such a traditional ritual, other illuminating community Pujas of Malda have drawn thousands of people. Apart from making huge arrangement of decoration and illumination, organizers like Pallyshree-86 have arranged the donations to the poor. Organizers likeMokdumpur Club,  Amal Smriti Sangha, Yubak Brinda of Jhaljhalia and others drew thousands in their pandals.

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