The mood is somber and a little melancholy as the Nabami (Navami for North India) begins. The Nabami morning gives us the warning bell that for the festival that we eagerly wait for every year is going to be over by the end of the day and in an effort not to miss a moment we try to stretch the evening as long as we can. It is the same feeling when you know that your beloved is leaving the next day, and you want to spend most of the time together and make it as much as worthwhile possible. While, the thought of getting back to routine life, makes a lot of people to feel blue, for many the passionate sense of attachment which they develop with the Durga idol, who is breathed life on ‘Shasthi’, adorned with flowers and jewels, worshipped with love and intense faith, and then bid adieu post a beautiful, vibrant celebration, makes them feel a little despondent. It is almost similar to a family member going away, who will not visit, till the next year. Behind the masked smile we wear on our face, there is sadness. Though the sadness is not reflected in the celebration but all of us feel it together. The feeling of sadness drains through us together, and travels through every neuron of the body and carries every electrical pulse not to the head but to the heart. It travels through every one of us and connects each one of us. It is a feeling of hollowness, which approaches slowly with time. It is worse for us; we are celebrating, dancing, singing, eating, chatting, and also holding a thousand oceans of tears within. If one can really look deep into our eyes you can surely see the tiny drop of tear that sparkles at the remotest corner of our eyes which flow down the next day of Dashami.
The next morning is always gloomy and depressing. We have to let our daughter go. It is an emotional day for the devotees. She is prepared for the journey to the Himalayas with the ‘Sindoor Khela,’ one of the most favourite parts of various rituals of Durga Puja. Though controversial now-a-days, but this is essentially the bidding-adieu-ritual. It is the act of wishing, a good journey and a happy married life which is done by applying the vermilion hued sindoor on her hair parting, fed sweets, and wished good luck for her journey back home. The ever smiling idol that we adored for days, worshiped and celebrated the festival together also starts weeping. The intense feeling of the hearts worldwide reflects on the face of the idol.
There is a moment of silence to our soul when the clay statues are ceremoniously drowned to a water body for a solemn goodbye to Durga. The clay dissolves, and she is believed to return to Mount Kailash at the abode of Shiva and to the cosmos in general. Goodbyes are associated with a sense of sadness, and interestingly Durga Puja gives us the biggest joy every year and the biggest sadness as well. Four days of unadulterated festivities comes to an end. The chillness runs in our blood, coldness brings the synapses of our brain comes to a standstill but there is always the hope of resurrection, aashche bochor abar hobe – we will have again next year.