Today is Dashami. Pujo ends. And with that, the wait for the next year’s Pujo starts. With only a day left for me to return back, I cannot help but agree why it’s important to be with your family during Durga Puja. But at the same time, it’s all the more sad, given that I know there’s every probability that I won’t be in Calcutta during Puja next year. No, I didn’t celebrate Puja this year, owing to the resolution taken last year that it would be the last time I’m celebrating Puja. Every bit of chaotic madness around, I had initially resented being here. But I guess it’s the Bengali in Me since this girl’s eyes could be found tearing up on the bhashan of Durga Ma, as she whispered, “Asche Bochor Abar Esho, Ma”. After a measly stay of only a week, as I return back this time, for a long time to come, it is mentally exhausting to even think of going through the motions of sadness, homesickness and eventually numbness all over again.
Now that I’ve spent a month there already, it can be safely said that I’ve settled down in Bhubaneswar. So how did I survive one month in this new city, charting the beginning of the next 2 years to come? Moving out was a big deal, and it should be, if you happen to be the youngest daughter of the family and the only one to move out the earliest. Some say, it is only when you move out of your comfort zone, leave behind everything that has ever been yours, to a zone that’s alien, foreign, it is then that you come to realize the importance of your family. It is as much important as getting the opportunity to test yourself in the foreign lands, of successfully surviving in the big world out there. Bading goodbye to an emotional father, was as difficult as bading goodbye to mother back home, which was despite everything a surprise, given that both the Father and the daughter concerned here, are not really emotional beings.
The initial days were occupied with setting up the lifeless room into a room beating with love and happiness, evoking positive energies, welcoming to everybody. Making new friendships and getting comfortable with the place slowly took the second place in the queue. The hectic schedule leaves no time for anyone to get homesick, and the energy-draining classes make you wonder when and how days roll into nights.Becoming an office-bearer, the Prefect of B.Ed batch of my hostel came saddled with a lot of responsibilities and even little time for myself. You crave for weekends to come, so that you can just laze around and before you know it, the weekdays are back again. It is a sheer endless circle of dire survival.
When you move into a new place, there are certain changes that happens within and to You. The social bee in Me got replaced with the homely Me who would prefer staying back in weekends rather than going out for roaming. Independence comes with costs, and this time it was to live on your own, managing to be economical. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that we are so inundated with tasks, given that though it is overly energy-depleting, however it leaves little time to think about what you’ve left behind.
Most importantly, as always, I changed. The Bhubaneswar Me is so different from the Calcutta Me that sometimes I wonder whether that’s a positive or a negative sign. The courage, the boldness is of course encouraging which was attested by the hosting of the first Mahalaya event in my hostel in the last 6-7 years, on my prerogative. The fact that it was a tremendous success, the fact that I paid my respect to the Goddess by establishing her worth in a foreign land, it’s a huge enrichment to the soul and a tremendous boost to self-esteem in itself.
Calcutta brings along with it, emotions, which is largely lacking in the Bhubaneswar Me. It is as if a new Esh has been born there. It was worrying whether it had destroyed the older Me, but when I saw my heart miss a beat seeing all kaashful-fields, eyes welling up over the image of Home, I knew I’m safe. I’m okay.
It’s just one month in the new city, with many more to follow. I don’t know how I’ll make it, but I hope to do it with every pore of my energies. I hope to make the best of everything that the new city has to offer. I hope to make my family proud.
Asche Bochor Abar Esho, Ma. Asche Bochor jeno Ami Aste Pari, Ma. 🙂
May The Forces Be With All of Us.
Happy Dussehra, everyone.