Aman- " I will wait for Durga Puja to come again next year"
Grandpa- "Why are you so obsessed with Durga Puja?"
Aman- "because that's the only festive we can enjoy. All my friends, me, we have so much fun together and after it ends everything feels so empty!
Grandpa- "I see, but what's wrong about Kali Puja?"
Aman- " It's boring grandpa!"
Grandpa- "hmm... (with a pause)
Do you know who Goddess Kali is though?"
Aman- "Not much"
Grandpa- "Do you know why kali puja is celebrated and how it originated?"
Aman- "Nope. I got no idea"
"Would you like to hear it?"
Aman realising he eventually will get bored sitting alone in his room so he answers with a sigh
"Kali puja, as you can see by its name, is dedicated to the hindu goddess Kali which is celebrated on the new moon day. It coincides with Lakshmi Puja the day which you know as Diwali.
Well this festive isn't that ancient as you might think. It was introduced in bengal by Raja Krishna Chandra of Krishnanagar, Nadia, West bengal during 18th century. Kali Puja mostly gained its popularity in the 19th century, with Krishanachandra's grandson Ishvarchandra and the Bengali elite; wealthy landowners when they began patronizing the festival on a grand scale. Since then we all have been a part of this jamboree.
Aman- "but why do people celebrate it in such a grand scale?"
"to seek the help of the goddess in destroying evil and get her blessings for general happiness, health, wealth, and peace"
Aman- "and by goddess you mean Goddess Kali?"
"but where did she come from?
According to legends after the gods lost a battle with the demons, Goddess Kali was born from the forehead of your favourite- Goddess Durga.
Aman with excitement
"Woah! You mean she is a part of Durga?
"Well Goddess Durga and Kali both are the form of one goddess devi parvati, the wife of Shiva. Kali is a form of durga, the fiercest one, meant to destroy all evil by her rage and save the earth.
Kali is said to be the personification of Shakti (female power), which she wielded to kill all the demons and save the earth. The killing increased her blood lust, which took hold and she started killing anyone she felt had done a wrong.
"So wasn't there anyone who could stop her?"
"None but only one. She was only stopped when Lord Shiva intervened and lay down in front of her. That's why in art, Kali is often depicted with her tongue hanging out, depicting the moment when she realised she had stood on Lord Shiva and her rage subsided
(A gust of wind blows followed by the sound of a car approaching. The car stops. Some kids come out chit-chatting with each other. One of the parent scolds her kid for slamming the door way too hard.)
"The date of Kali Puja falls on the same day as Diwali This festive is celebrated by Hindu Bengalis, Rajbongshis, Odias, Assamese, Sylhetis, Chittagonians, maithils and you will be surprised to know in some parts aboard as well
It's the day of great joy. People light up their homes, wear ethnic, share delicious sweets, which i personally am very fond of, and have a great time with their friends and family."
And did you know along with Durga Puja, Kali Puja is the biggest festival in Bengal and Assam?"
Aman- " Wow! Really?
Aman- "That's amazing!"
(suddenly Rajesh shows up)
"Hello there my best friend, won't you join us to burn some crackers?"
(he has brought some more school friends with him who are waiting upstairs)
Aman touches grandpa's feet, offers him namaskar and rushes towards the terrace.
(The entire locality is radiant with lights. Sound of different crackers, people shouting with joy, taking pictures, lighting candels,
feels like the night has covered itself with a blanket of profound beautiness, the sight of which can make anyone stare for minutes
Aman on the other side is watching the fire rockets go up and the rays of the blast falls under his face, revealing his bright smile and glowy eyes.)
Amidst this, the last fire rocket of the night shoots up in the sky,
Aman closes his eyes for a second and whispers within himself...
"I will wait for Kali puja to come again next year!"