Rath Yatra comes year after year to remind us of our childhood. Rath Yatra would always mean walking down the lane of Jogomaya Kalibari, my tiny hands clasped in the huge palms of my Ma, savouring lozenges. I do not remember how long it has been since I last visited the ‘rather mela’ (the fair held during the week between Rath Yatra and Ultorath).
And it was not just rather mela that made this day special. All of us, the kid brigade at home, would decorate our ‘rath’ with multicoloured strips of paper and flowers and then take it around the whole para. The ‘pronaami’ collected was used to buy nokuldana and batasha – small joys of life, the value of which will be lost on the current social media generation.
Actually, it was a time when the size, magnitude or grandeur of an article did not matter, rather its mere existence, simple and beautiful filled one’s mind with wonder and stirred the heart with unadulterated joy.
Rath Yatra brings back countless emotions, scenes, sights and smells from the deepest corners of the heart, feelings which have lost their way in the crowded melee of present day busy schedule. They form a part of my life that has moved away with the ebb and flow of life.
The rather mela was like a fairyland which we would wait with bated breath throughout the year. From the various knick-knacks for rannabati to the delicious kochuri and singaras – the fair was worth the wait. Starting from toys, flutes, animals, the decorated stalls offered a variety of delicacies including jilipis, khurmas, and what not! Could there be such happiness, wonder and magic anywhere in the world?
Today, when I look around me, I fail to discover the same enthusiasm, or curiosity and childlike charm which inundated my life at one time. I cannot find the ingenuous naiveté even in myself. Perhaps the world has changed. Innocence is fun no more.
We just have to move on with memories to cherish….. Choreibeti…
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