every year,since i can remember,this day my mom is up at 4.00 am and my dad at around the same time,and i am woken up and my room ,which has always been the largest one,is rearranged,so that the purohit can perform the tarpan ceremony.
meanwhile,i am shifted to the other bed,and i always sleep off again,and then i am reawakened at around 6.15,and wrapped around in a blanket(when in Delhi)and bed sheet(in Calcutta),for the shaanti jaal to be sprinkled on my head,and just so that it doesn't touch my feet.
and this is when i know its puja time
when i was in school,i knew,holidays (though a short one of only 10 days)were around the corner, and my new dresses one each for saptami, ashtami and navami were ready.i knew the menu for ashtami always,it is still the same today,luchi in morning just after the pushpanjali,afternoon khichudi with beguni,or fulkopir pakoda,and night if we still have stomach for it,pulao or paratha,usually the latter sharing from my mothers plate
puja over the years has lost that charm for me,i hardly get excited at the thought -i think of the traffic jams,the noise,the hopelessly large crowds,and the ever competing pandalware;but mahalaya remains special as it did yesterday
forever i have seen my father performing this tarpan,not only as a duty,but because he believes that his parents and forefathers deserve this .he has never ever complained about there faults,or mistakes,he has never judged them.
he believes what they did was right,what they taught was right....
i used to think he was blindly following rituals just for the sake of doing it, but no,he believes
it is his conscious will,
that is why he is a great man,
unlike me who will always complain and blame him for all my shortcomings
puja is here,its time to chose the gods whom we want to worship.....