Inheritance

The cloud-capped skies, the boisterous earth now belong to you, the young soul.
I have no use for the button-less, torn shirt; that I give to you.
A lung-full of laughter, the sun-soaked walks through the day
The idle slumber in the fields of night; take it all from me.

I give you, young spirit, my times tough and good
Painless sorrow, anger, outrage – I give you my emotions.
Raging debates over a cuppa coffee,  those shared cigarettes, a stolen glance at the girl next door
Submission to the verses, stung by the sharp-edged words, dissection of the human psyche
Were they human at all?

Suicide. Footsteps of arrogance sweeping through the city.
A river and a few countries. The women in my life –
I have no use of them, young soul. Old clothes refuse to fit in.
The baggage of the past needs to be shed; I give them to you.

The fate of the past rests on you. The burden of the future in your hands.
Reconcile or perish? For you to decide, young spirit
I wish I could give you my days left behind.

 

 

On the 7th death anniversary of Sunil Gangopadhyay, a humble tribute to the stalwart poet – A translation of his celebrated poem ‘Uttoradhikar’. This translation was earlier published on MaaMatiManush.tv website.

 

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

The Legend of Kojagori Lokkhi Pujo

Five days after Maa Durga leaves for Kailash, leaving the mortal Bengalis in a state of melancholy gloom, every household in the State gears up to welcome and worship Maa Lokkhi (Lakshmi) in their homes. Considered the Goddess of prosperity and wealth, Maa Lokkhi is described as ‘chapala’ (fickle minded) who does not like staying at one place for long.

Just like Saraswati Pujo, there is a Ghoti-Bangal divide in the worship of the Lokkhi as well. The full moon night (purnima) of Ashwin (sixth month of Bengali calendar) is called Sharad Purnima. Maa Lokkhi is generally worshiped on this day (night to be precise) as Kojagori (derived from ‘Ke Jago Re’ meaning ‘who is awake’).

Legend says, Maa Lokkhi descends on earth at night, and visits every household to check who is awake and is performing the broto-panchali, while drinking coconut water. She resides in those homes where the matriarch performs her Pujo at night. Hence, Sharad Purnima is also known as ‘Kojagori Lokkhi Pujo’. Since Maa Lokkhi is the Goddess of prosperity, she is worshiped on Sharad Purnima, just before the harvest season began.

naru

Til, naru, moya, batasha – bhog of Lokkhi Pujo

Although the worship of Maa Lokkhi on Sharad Purnima is prevalent across Bengal now, it had its origin in Dhaka-Faridpur-Mymensingh region. This festival was mainly celebrated by Bangals. Ghotis normally worship Mahalakshmi on the night of Deepavali. However, after Partition, as people migrated from East Bengal to the West in large numbers, this festival slowly crept into the social calendar of Ghotis also.

The special tradition of Lokkhi Pujo is to worship her in the form of ‘Lokkhi Shora’ (earthen discs with paintings of Lokkhi on them). In some regions, they fill paddy in earthen pots and worship them as Lokkhi (signifying bountiful harvest), while some people worship her by making kola gachher bhela (boats carved from the stem of banana tree). With the passage of time, idol worship has gained prominence.

Lokkhir Shora (Image: Bengal Art Facebook Page)

Alpona (designs made with rice paste) forms an integral part of Lokkhi Pujo. Women draw her feet in front of all the doors in the house. Beautiful designs can be seen painted in many rural households of Bengal. Food is also an integral part of Lokkhi PujoGhotis offer vegetarian khichuri-labra bhog to Maa Lokkhi, while many Bangal households worship her with jora-ilish. In some homes, bhog consists of sweets like til and naru.

Alpona

It is evident that like most festivals in Bengal, Lokkhi Pujo also has a social relevance. Art, culture and food are as integral to this festival, as are the rituals and mantras. Hope this spirit of diversity thrives on and Maa Lokkhi makes Bengal prosperous.

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

 

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