While most families are preparing to welcome goddess Laxmi into their homes tonight, Bengalis in the city will make their way to the nearest mandal for a quiet Kali puja.
Diwali, for this community, marks the end of the Durga puja season, and Goddess Kali, the powerful avatar of Durga, represents the ultimate destroyer of evil. “Unlike the festive Laxmi pujas of Diwali, Kali puja is a very solemn affair,” said Salil Dutta, president of the Bombay Durgabari Samiti, which has been organising Durga and Kali puja events at Tejpal Hall in Tardeo since 1930.
The Samiti will begin its prayer at 9pm on Friday, and is expecting more than 1,000 devotees to attend it and eat the traditional bhog.
The Bengal Club at Shivaji Park expects its Kali puja to go on well beyond midnight, and has organised a few cultural programmes in the adjacent Scout Hall for guests.
“We don’t have card parties on this auspicious occasion, but there will be devotional songs and a Bengali film to help devotees and women who will be fasting to keep awake,” said Amit Chowdhury, vice-president of the Club.