Mahalaya and Tarpan
For your peace, I pray to you and the Almighty (Shot at near 4:45 am, Mullick ghaat, Kolkata)
Surprisingly the very few days of Durga puja when every traditional Bengali has a smile on the face, and plunges himself in the big celebrations starts with a ritual that goes to mark the short tenure of human life on earth – tarpan. It also marks the awakening of Goddess Durga – Mahalaya
Mahalaya –takes a piece out of the mayhem that ensues to make a person thoughtful, reminds us, appeals to us to fight the evil within us and let the good within win.
Tarpan- Brings us to pay homage to the people who are no longer with us and also to remember our life is as the bard has said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances”
The day when the mass wakes up at the wee hours of the morning and listen to Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s “Chandi Paath” ( Reciting / Chanting of the work of the Goddess Chaandi / Durga ) popularly known as the Mahishashurmardini ( The Goddess who killed the demon Mahishashur ), referring to Maa Durga (Goddess Durga)..
Traditions elder to history, and multiple storied woven.. to guide the people towards the good, instil in them the rebel against the bad and be the good themselves. Cynics say, religion was the first entrepreneurial venture mankind knows of but one cannot ignore that religion in its purest form preaches nothing but harmony and love for the fellow human being.
Each year, people go to the river Ganges to wash their sins, and pray for the well being of their ancestors. They offer food, water and prayers for them. Kolkata – the city of joy, being at the last end of the river, is the home to the biggest prayers. A place where the urban chaos and the rustic mayhem both gather in unison. The Ghats are filled up with people who come from different stratas.
This is my first Mahalaya shoot and I must say, this will take me there each single year (if I stay in Kolkata). Sadly this year, I don’t have a photograph which I can brag about. However this montage is to present the snapshot describing the time I had spent there.
Post edited by : Anish Chakraborty
Photograph courtesy : Anirban Saha Photography
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