The Kolkata Statesman reports, “Durga Puja does not assume its festive aura without the maddening beats of the ) come to our cities from impoverished villages in Bengal, mingle with the revelers for four days and then retreat back into their seemingly endless and hopeless penury.Before they go back, they beat their drums and walk our city streets, seeking tips, almost begging.Acknowledgements: Apart from the two anonymous reviewers who made meticulous suggestions, I would like to thank the following: Sandhya Devesan Nambiar, Richa Gupta, Piya Srinivasan, Kamalika Mukherjee, Ian Hunter, John Frow, Peter Fitzpatrick, Sumanta Banjerjee, Uday Kumar, Regina Ganter, and Sharmila Ray.
Ashok has two books of poems REFLECTIONS IN THE DARK (A-4 Publications) – 2002 and TENTATIVELY (I-Universe) -2005.
His poems have been published extensively in print and electronic journals worldwide.
The Durga Puja is one of the most celebrated festivals of West Bengal, celebrated with pomp and show.
As Aashin, the seventh month of the Hindu calendar arrives; the entire state enters into a festive mood.
The former is a detailed ethnographic study of Durga puja in the countryside, showing how the occasion helped foster the redistribution of assets in the face of pitiless extraction of revenues.
Mc Dermott studies the three interlinked autumnal festivities to celebrate Bengal's most important goddesses: Durga, Kali, and Jagatdhatri. These are: ‘The City of the Festival’, ‘The Making of a New Civic Event’, ‘Pre-histories of the Present: on Artists and Award’, ‘Pre-histories of the Present: on Pratima and Pandal Makers’, ‘The Age of the “Theme” Puja’, ‘Demands and Dilemmas of Durga Puja “Art”’, ‘Durga Puja Tours and Travels’, and ‘Destruction, Dispersals, Afterlives’.History says that he prayed to Goddess Durga to make him successful in this ordeal and the powerful Goddess answered his call, as he defeated the mighty army of Ravan.Durga Puja is a time of celebration, especially in this country of ancient heritage where women signify purity and power.The stem of banana tree is draped in a new saree and is placed next to Lord Ganesha. This ritual also asserts Durga Puja as a festival that pays homage to the ancient agrarian roots.The lanes and boulevards are later seen swarming with devotees.Added to this is a fairly extensive introduction and an exhaustive glossary.Girard observes that characterizing all primitive divinities who involve themselves in mortal affairs is the blending of beneficent and maleficent: ‘Dionysus is at one and the same time the “most terrible” and the “most gentle” of the gods.Durga Puja spans over nine to ten days, with each day holding its own importance. The for wife, hence the name translates into banana wife.She is considered to be the wife of Lord Ganesha by many.This is one Bengali festival that has people participating across religions and languages.In that sense, Durga puja has an unmistakable cosmopolitan hue about it.