Festivals have a lot of nostalgic value. They tend to transport us to our childhood days, which was spent surrounded by family and friends. Now, on the first major day of Durga Puja, Bengali stars on the small screen reveal what they miss the most.
I used to enjoy puja with my cousins earlier, but everyone is scattered all over the world now. The excitement of the festival too has faded over time. It used to be a fun atmosphere and we would not just figure out what to wear, but also what to eat and when to go out. We’d stay out till 4 am visiting various pandals in south and north Kolkata with my masi, cousins and friends in three-four cars. It used to feel like a carnival and I'd get lots of gifts. Now I get only money.
The one thing I miss during the pujas now, as opposed to my childhood, is the adda. I used to love just sitting at the puja pandal doing nothing but yapping with my family and friends. We used to plan months in advance about what we would wear and more importantly, what we would eat each day. I guess those were the days of innocence.
During my younger days, Durga Puja meant being with family and eating junk food while pandal-hopping, and not worry about putting on weight. We had a competition amongst cousins on who had the most number of new dresses and I usually won. My trick was that I'd hoard dresses from July onwards. That jubilant feeling is something I miss today. This year, it’s my first Durga Puja after marriage, so I will be taking Siddharth Vasudev, my Kashmiri husband, to Kolkata.
The ambience during Durga Puja in Kolkata is totally different. The festival fever is unmatched. I miss the noise of the dhak (drums) and wearing new clothes. These were yearly rituals. There is one pandal in every lane there. This year, I am feeling bad as I will be reaching Kolkata a little late since I am busy shooting for an event. So I will not be able to spend more days enjoying the vibe of the city.