Thats a pic taken yesterday at the Stockholm Durga Puja mandap. I would have found it tough to believe the presence of the Goddess in all her splendour in the middle of the Nordics. But such is life.
I will be singing today, right in front of Goddess Durga. I have never been overly religious. But I believe in the almighty. If you would have had the kind of crazy life I have had, you would believe in the almighty as well. Because there is no other way how I can explain the innumerable strange things that have happened in my life. Except that there is someone somewhere who is guiding me, in what so far has been the right direction. And I hope and wish, that the guidance shall always be there, and I shall be on the right path... and it doesnt matter where that path leads me, as long as I do not deter, wander and get lost.
It is so ironic, that after losing touch with Durga Puja for so long, since I moved out of Jamshedpur, I should rediscover it once again in Sweden, of all places. And have "bhog"... and fold my hands, bow my head and "give" pushpanjali... and watch all the women dressed in the brightest colored Sarees and Lehengas, the men trying to appear comfortable in Kurtas... watch kids sing old Bengali songs, and perform Bharatnatyam dance... and then me.. practicing to sing in front of the Goddess, in a language I am so scared of forgetting. All in Sweden. Reconnecting with the 50% of the bong me. Life is strange, and I think I should come to terms that at every step it will have new surprises for me.
I came to Sweden, craving to go back to a country I called my own. And discovered that in some ways, I could discover a part of my patriotism, my culture, my love for my homeland here more than I could discover it when living in my motherland. Would I be singing a bengali song in front of Durga ma, dressed in an embroidered bengali kurta after having an excess of delicious bhog if I was in Bangalore... or Delhi... or Nagpur... or Manipal? I doubt it. So once again. Life is strange :).