Durga Pooja – II

Another set of memories associated with Durga Pooja are those of Durga Baadi in Purnia. In a typical Bengali set-up, you would see people around the pandal all through the day. There would be several competitions and so long I was there, I was a regular participant and winner in several of these. Gained some pelasant acquaintences there, who would probably always remember me as that little girl whom I escorted from the venue of one of the competitions to that of the other!! Me being in final year of B. Tech. or doing my MBA suddenly reminded them of “how fast the time passes!”

There were some funny experiences. There used to be Ramayana and Mahabharata quizzes as part of the set of competitions there. Once in that quiz I was asked that who was the sister of Lord Rama in Ramayana. Came as a surprise to me. Valmiki Ramayana or Ramcharitmanas do not mention Rama having any sister! Came back home perplexed. Nobody at home knew of anything like this either. Later when I met my music teachers, I told them about this question. It seems the Bengali Ramayana mentions Lord Rama having a sister (I can not take a definitive stand here. Haven’t read it myself. Am only reiterating what was told to me). She was called Shanta. Okay – so I was prepared to face the quiz next year. Next, year I was asked who was Rama’s brother-in-law (Shanta’s husband). I cracked it this time, because I had read a translation of Ramayana by Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, which had a character called Shanta, though she was not mentioned as Rama’s sister there. There, her husband was Rishi Rishyashring (Now all this is quite mixed up because he was also the one who is mentioned as the purohit (priest) of putreshti yagna (Yagna done with the purpose of getting a son) that King Dashratha had carried out. I replied Rishyashringa and was correct. Thank God till the next year. And the question asked to me was who was Rishyashringa’s father!! There you go Jaya Jha. I did not know.

Somehow can never forget this funny experience of tracing the whereabouts of Rama’s sister, when with my upbringing I did not believe one existed😀 As far as I recall, later they started giving options to the participnts for being asked questions from Begali Ramayana or Valmiki Ramayana. Must have been a relief to non-Bengali participants!!🙂

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook

4 thoughts on “Durga Pooja – II

  1. hey jaya,
    i passed out of L this year (2005). got the impression while in campus that you were quite an always-lost-in-thought kinda person. after seeing your blog, i know i was right!
    -vinod.

  2. Hello Jaya,
    I really enjoy reading your blog and am a regular visitor. I enjoyed your story about the ramayana quiz.🙂 Now reading your post, I know that there is a bengali version of the Ramayana too amoung other numerous versions.

    Maybe you will like to read the Ramayana by Ashok K Banker. It is a modern version of the epic and the author has done great justice to the story. I really enjoyed the books. Actually it is a work in progress with four volumes out – I have read two of them Ist and IInd – Prince of Ayodhya and Siege of Mithila – both are very enjoyble.

    Regards
    Ravi
    http://thoughts2005.blogspot.com

  3. Hello Jaya,

    I recently read about your achievements through a Mithila based forum on the net, which had a reference to your blog. I have enjoyed reading your posts here on various issues. Given my own fondness for Purnia (since I too belong to a small village in this district, though currently I’m at Ahmedabad), I was all the more pleased to know that you too are from Purnia. Congratulations and all the very best to you.

    Pranesh Pathak

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