Friday evening at the Meenakshi temple … full of people – desis – and everyone was in their blings … silk clad maami’s flaunting their gold and jewels … and sarees too. Mamas generally gawking here and there … or taking care of the babies! Oh yes Navratri was everywhere … the idols at the temple were prettier than usual … they had an awesome golu set up with a wide variety of dolls ... heck all the ladies at the temple got a free saree and everybody enjoyed live music and prasadam dinner! The temple looks much prettier at night too!
Must admit tho' that that the occasion was far cry from piety and meditation … it was a bling event and we accepted it for that.
These Radhe-Krisha idols have to be one of my most favorite idols if not "the" favourite ones on the planet! They were decked up in style :)
Saturday morning at durgabari. Move over 9 yard kanjeevarams and hello Bengali silk in your face, chubby faces, flowing hair, rolling r’s and more bling. Had no clue that there is a Durga temple in Houston … and so many Bongs too. Felt at home amidst all the Bongs … lots of memories … the dances at Durga Puja @Vashi in another life … Nandita Miss … Hindol … sigh … I digress! Getting back to the pujo – The idols were magnificent – the decoration superb - Just like the idols back home (altho they tell me that they are going to have a new set of idols next year coz a hungry rat ate the backs of some of these!!! Some appetite I say!)
The bhog (obviously) was extremely tasty – yum yum. We lingered around the place meeting lots of people … the only names I can retrieve from memory are Pinky and Tukur (Bong “pet” names Of Course) – lets not even venture into what their real names are! That’s a separate post altogether. So yes we “hung” around … watched an upcoming Bengali-rock band who played quite decently – never mind the dire-straits like sound … all in all a lot of fun … but we had other things to attend to and hence made our way back towards home … after 5 hours at the pujo. A big thanks to Oindrilla for inviting us and making us feel so comfortable at the event.
Evening rolled by and we prepared ourselves for the next item on the menu – ojheee raayyyy … yes it was dandia time … donned our kurtas and set off towards Reliant Park … little did we know that the venue for dandia at Houston is a Basketball stadium … a really really large one at that! Sure enough the floor was packed with desis … almost like we had crawled out of the woodwork to assemble here! Not only was the floor packed but even the seats (yes there were a lot of desis being desis and just watching the dance like it was some show or something! But we shall not get into that right now!) were packed. Un-frakkin-B-lievable! I have never seen so many desis in one place in the US – no not even in the Bay! And the thought that most of the Bongs were missing here (they would be at durgabari) and the Southies too (Navratri time at the temple) made me think – just how many desis ARE there in H! Like Soumya mentioned – theres one billion of us in India and prolly another billion spread across the rest of the world!
The dandia was awesome …the A/C and clean floor not withstanding :) I thought my legs were going to say enough and disassemble! Nothing like that happened (thankfully) and we limped back towards our cars after 2am … sweet sweet time we had.