‘Ashwiner Sharodo Probhatey--------.’ Intoned a nasal voice from the transistor at the crack of Dawn ( or probably before it, as the sky was still dark) and half awakened me from my sleep, I knew that Pujo had started. For me, Pujo meant one thing – Durga Pujo.
From childhood, this unforgettable voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra was part of my waking up process on the day of Mahalaya. Back in
, I remember listening to the chants and the unforgettable songs half asleep, getting in and out of sleep, while I snuggled close to my Mom or Dad to keep away the early morning chill. The smell of Shiuli would drift in from the garden outside and add to the surreal feeling of the moment. I would fall into deep slumber towards the end of the recital and would wake up much later with the childhood joy in my heart for an ensuing vacation. Durgapur
Two decades later, I found that not much has changed. I woke up with the same chant throbbing in my ears, drifted in and out of sleep and finally fell asleep at the end. True, that the chill was absent (effect of Global warming?) and there was no Shiuli tree near my 3rd Floor apartment and it was raining. It was also true that my parents were in the next room sitting by the radio and listening to it. But the surreal feeling remained the same. The same dream like feel, the same warmth in the heart, the same unknown, unreasonable feeling of comfort. I still woke up with an unknown joy in my heart as I looked forward to a particularly hard earned vacation.
Two Decades and the feeling had not changed.