Saraswati Pujo

Writing an article around Valentine’s Day invariably leads to the celebration of love and such stuff. With the advent of Spring comes Saraswati Pujo, technically on the fifth day of the season, called Basant Panchami. Saraswati, the goddess of Arts and Education is worshipped diligently across my part of the world. From miniature clay idols at home to medium sized idols at various schools and finally the larger versions at the barowari (public) pujo, the goddess is more revered than actually loved. I’ve often perceived Saraswati as the lonelier, geeky goddess among others, akin to the bespectacled girl in school, bypassed for prettier ones (like Lakshmi). My loyalties have been and will remain for the ivory goddess, who I believe has lent me the few words that I can write. Retracing to Valentine’s Day bit of the story – Saraswati Pujo is termed aptly as Bengali Valentine’s Day for the past half-a-century. I think it’s barely been 50 years that Saraswati Pujo began to be celebrated in schools around Bengal. The stern iron gates of each mono-gender school would be open to everyone only on this day, creating leeways for teenagers. Each teenage boy, clad in pressed and clean white or yellow Panjabi-Pajama would peer around Girls’ schools in the neighbourhood for saree clad beauties. Thus began an era of seeing each other, diligently asking for prasad, going out for a date in a group and stealing furtive glances.

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Love is what you make of it.

About a year or two ago, it was clichéd to believe in Valentine’s Day and express all the mush in your heart.

This year it seems clichéd to be I-don’t-want-just-one-day-for-love types.

Times change. People change. Love changes too. Maybe. Or not.

There’s a stupid feeling at the core of your being which doesn’t change. Some call THAT love, others haven’t yet been able to label it. Its THAT which keeps you going on and strong for years.

Here’s my two pence on love:

Love is..(By Kim Casali) – This one was my favourite since childhood when it was a daily strip in The Statesman, Calcutta. It has all the innocence and mush that we crave for without being cheesy or sleazy.

Love is..(By Kim Casali)

Image Courtesy: GoComics.com

Calvin and Hobbes (By Bill Watterson) – I confess that I haven’t read the complete collection, but I try to gorge on any of the strips which come in my surfing results. C&H is the wittiest comic I have ever read or want to read.

Calvin and Hobbes

Image courtesy: World of Calvin and Hobbes

Happy Loving. Happy Reading. Happy all the Days.  🙂