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On friday, a few hours after the Jum'wa prayers, I went to join the TTL-gang in a tour of the auspicious Dhakessori Mandir Durga Puja celebrations. The temple becomes a heaven for devout Hindus, from all over the country, on a pilgrimage to see their favorite deity in a variety of incarnations. This happens during the months leading upto the winter when Durga Puja usually takes place. This year, it wasn't any different either.

I've always been a fan of the range of human emotions that barrages any religious event. There's fear, pride, happiness, and last but not the least the neopolitan "Being half atheist and half theist is just playing it safe"-demography of which I think I might be a member of. Yesterday's "Moha Soptomi" had it's share of colorful characters too.

There was the obvious Brahmin priest, aging, yet proud. Like the Catholic Church their days of influencing the feudal lords is over, in the age of cell phones "Casts" are no longer *that big an issue. The Puja premises were filled with people from all casts, all regligions, Shudro, Brahman,Khyatrias, Muslims, Christians, everyone was swarming in. Like some of his puritanical Mullah/Cardinal brethren, he too was sad at the reduction of his superiority, at the apparent * sacrilege being performed . Lady Durga has blessed her deciples with education and her '3-rd eye'.



DSC_0026There were the worshipper, bowing down their head and extending their paws in appreciation/expectation of their deity's mercy, knowing that religious zealotry, although still a menace, was a dwindling phenomena. Knowing that peaceful co-existence with others of the society is just not a necessity, it's the proper way to "play it cool". Earthly delights are too valuable to sacrifice without knowing for sure that an afterlife exists as a backup.

DSC_0100There were the devout children, their eyes gleaming with the blessed flame of the future. They are, after all, born in an age of emancipation. Their faces signaling a pint of blood, gashing towards their infraorbital artery in a showcase of admiration and respect, not fear. Neither complete thesists, nor godless atheists had the pleasure or the pain to realize this that day. Viva la moderates :) .

Then came the musicians, artisans with their crude, locally crafted 'beat-machines'. Wrapped in a blanket of bokeh, they played on for half an hour whilst the "Arati"-vernaculars were performed. The most religious part of the day? I don't know. But certainly the most colorful and engaging.

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All in all, it was a pleasant experience to see so many people mingle, freely, without visual demarcation of non-conformance. Being a mix race has its covets, but is far outnumbered by its merits.

Moral of the story, "Being a moderate kicks major-A". Too hypocritical for your taste? Being smart has never been hypocritical baby.

PS: I'd still give anything to see a Durga Puja celebration in my pseudo-hometown of Mymensingh though. Those in the capital are rather...err...politically crowded.

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