KALI PUJA completes the Puja triangle for the Bengali calendar, which started out with Durga Puja and was seconded by Lakshmi Puja about a fortnight back.
It also marks the end of the Bijoya celebrations (where near and dear ones visit each other to seek elders’ blessings) which were kicked off on Bijoya Dashmi.
Various places in the city play host to Kali Puja every year and the scene will be no different this year too with Risaldar Park Colony Puja Committee on Lal Kuan Road, Matri Kripa Dham Kali Mandir, Ghasiyari Badi Kali Bari and Ramkrishna Math celebrating the Puja with fervour and gaiety.
Risaldar Park is one of the oldest Kali Pujas in the city as SP Sharma, a committee member points out,” A grand pandal with lighting and all the general paraphernalia is erected at the beautiful Risaldar Park, located at the centre of the colony. The Puja is as old as the Risaldar Park itself and every year the enthusiasm is the same with devotees paying ode to the Goddess throughout the night,”.
One of the unique features of the Kali Puja was the bali( sacrifice) which is now out of practice as TP Banerjee, member, Kali Puja Committee, the Ghasiyari Mandi Kali Bari informs,” Due to opposition from certain sections of the society including animal rights activists, the goat sacrifice( bali) which used to be a regular feature of the Puja has now gone out of practice, thugh all the other activities associated with the Puja like Bhog, aarti, anjali etc are firmly in place,” said Banerjee.
Another unique feature associated with Kali Puja is the Annakut where the Matri Kripa Dham Kali Mandir, Model house takes the lead. NP Dhar, a regular visitor every year at the Annakut says,” The Annakut, which happens a day after the Kali Puja is a sight to behold. A mountain of eatables is presented to Goddess Kali on the occasion as Bhog out of which the devotees are presented prasad for which we literally make a beeline. A packet of the Annakut prasad contains all sorts of eatables like Karachi halwa, kaju barfi, pulao, deshi ghee puris etc.
Each member of a family is presented a packet of the same and proudly displays his catch. The death of Pt. GP Bhattacharya, founder of Matri Kripa Dham Kali Mandir last year has not dampened a bit of the Puja enthusiasm,” says Dhar.
The night festivities, including Shyama Sangeet( Kali songs) at the Ramakrishna Math are also unique. BB Nag, a life member of the Math says,” The Kali Puja takes place all through the night and the night being of Diwali literally adds light to the occasion and the Shyama Sangeet at the Math creates an atmosphere second to none,”said Nag.