After shifting over to Kolkata, I have seen a different kind of excitement steaming in the heart of Kolkatans. But for me, though being a Bengali, the craze of Durga Puja was only to visit Mumbai during my student life, as my father used to work there. My sister and I would cross the dates on the calendar and wished to God everyday that the travel date should come in a wink. There was only one excitement - to meet our father, not of the new dresses to buy. And Durga Puja vacation means not only visiting Mumbai but to visit some other places too, as every year our father would plan a surprise trip for us to visit some tourist spots. If we were not travelling anywhere out of Mumbai, and then we would be seen dancing till late night to celebrate Navaratri with the Garva and Dandiya. After moving to USA, Durga Puja turned in to an one/ two days affair. And within this short span of time I had witnessed all the ritual to be done to the T and we, all the Bengalis from that particular place, would enjoy Durga Puja to the brim. I found a different enthralling experience when we shifted our base to Kolkata. The first thing that came to my notice is buying new clothes long before two to three months from Durga Puja. The detail plan to wear which dress on which day with which ornaments, are something pretty exciting to me. Then the enormous herculean task of making creative Pandals are another side of Durga Puja that attracted me more.
I often felt awestruck during the Pandal hopping watching and witnessing where the creative minds have reached and how talented people can be. The artisan, the skilled crafts are beyond any description till one witnesses those by his/her own eyes. But any festival can’t be ended without Food and mainly when it is a Bengali Festival the spread has to be an elaborate and royal one. Now a day one can get to see most of the restaurants are offering a flare of traditional Bengali spread during the festive season. Just forget the kitchen and the dining table of your sweet home and enjoy the gluttonous experience of indulging some delectable foods around.
Apart from the sweets what we mostly gorge on the fancy flavorsome Ice creams. Different companies offer different kind of ice creams with different flavours. Bengalis are mainly introduced as fish eaters and mishti lovers, and few ingredients are there that hold the pride of Bengal. One such thing is Nolen Gur. Say it used in sweet or savoury dishes, Nolen Gur has its own character. Nolen gur is a type of jaggery or palm sugar that features in several traditional Bengali desserts. The ice cream, therefore is authentically sweet. Recently Mother Dairy -a milk and dairy products major, launched the Nolen Gur flavoured ice cream, one of the most loved eastern region speciality. This regional delicacy from the eastern region has been made available in the packaged branded format for the first time, offering consistent taste and flavour as loved by the consumers. The newly launched variant is available in both take home (tubs) and single serve (cups) pack sizes.