As the wedding guests were being served the Chutney and Papad there were whispers flowing all around. Some wanted to finish early and head home while some formed groups discussing the current political situation. The date was 6th of December 1992 and a nationwide bandh (Strike) was just announced by most of the political parties in the country. Being a twelve year old for me it was a bonus dropping from the sky the bandh would mean that Monday would be a holiday and no school. For my mother, she was more worried that the bandh would push the exam dates behind and my father was rushing to the neighbourhood shop for stocking up on bread and eggs from the next day.
The wedding party ended a bit early as most of the guests wanted to leave early and stock up. During the 90’s a bandh would for sure bring any city to a grinding halt and it was always wiser to be prepared than to be surprised. In the meantime, I was already planning how we could enjoy the bonus day off with my friends in the locality.
Continue reading “Biography of a Riot”
Calcutta – 1951
Few friends who were body builders decided to start a Kali Puja and on the grounds of Dey’s Medical factory. It was more like a suburban fair with a mini circus, magic shops, well of death motorcycle stunts etc. Then after few years of celebration the puja venue had to be moved since new industrial reforms were starting in the city and this ground was selected for the Dey’s Medical factory. Seeing this the organizers decided to shift the venue to somewhere else.
During this shift, however, the puja split into three different groups, one made their pandal just opposite to the old venue, another group shifted to Ballygunge Phari and a third group shifted to Christian Para (Para means locality in Bengali). As the name suggest Christian Para is a small locality where a handful of Christians lived and the main reason why it was called a Christian Para was that there was a small Church built by that small Christian community.
Continue reading “Christian Para Kali Puja”