Dr. Taposhri Ganguly: 

I paused and thought to myself, what does Durga Puja really mean to me? It might have meant a lot of different things at different points in time however, at this stage of my life, I can safely admit that it means a few days of introspection and reflection which are held and helped together by these larger than life idols, gorgeous decor and super unnatural show of materials. I don’t mind any of these, in fact, I love these to the core or more like I used to love these up until few days back.

With COVID and the lockdowns, I felt a deep desire to bring together feminine energy. Usually and typically identified with a female body, this energy was easy to find and to convince most females that I am surrounded by to chip in and share. They all jumped in at this idea of mine and we launched a festival series at Dhi, called it DhiFest and the first thing we did was DurgaDhi on Durga Ashtami, October 24, 2020.

I pulled in my mother and my best friend, Priya first and then I decided to tap into mothers of some individuals associated with Dhi as guests or as listeners. Everyone got together to either sing, chant mantra or simply to share their Durga Puja experiences from the past. I was sitting and being a witness to something that would be iconic and historical in many ways for me at a very personal level. I know! I know! If I write this, I might make it sound depressing but I will nonetheless; none of us are here to live forever hence whatever little time we get to be with each other, capturing them into tiny moments of celebrations and coming together for no reason but just to celebrate being who you are, to me that’s iconic.

The entire recording was edited by me so there are bits and pieces that are not done professionally; however, the essence of love, togetherness and the bond that Dhi held onto that day was simply beyond words beautiful. As a host of the day, I had to pull things together and I think I did a fairly decent job of it with a write up that was pretty much put together at the very last minute. When I look back at the scale at which we compiled this event, I kind of feel proud of my own self.

I feel the idea of Dhi is never to be under the spotlight but to throw the spotlight at these amazing individuals who somewhere have forgotten how incredibly talented and beautiful they are in their own being. Here’s the YouTube link to the video https://youtu.be/YpofPCIkFUc

I’d leave this with the write up that held us all together that day, in that space and in that high vibrational state.

She is the expression, She is the path, She is the strength, She is the courage, She renders compassion, Being the guiding light, She is the mother, The mother of each life.

To the womb that has carried us, To the hands that have fed us, To the legs that have walked with us, To the mouth that has spoken for us, To the bodies that have sheltered us, To the minds that have raised us, Ma is your label that will stay with us.

The journey from the form to the formless, The journey from the senses to the supreme consciousness, Sings in beats that rise in each body, The rhythm that forms the form, The rhythm that takes away the form, Is always aligned to the core that brings us the notion of who we are.

Remember the day; it was something outside of us that was portrayed powerfully, An image or maybe an idol, Remember the times when you held onto that vision? That she who protects you stands in this worldly projection. Did it ever occur that the myths were for you to help you understand? That what you seek outside is what constitutes your own inner guide. Was that a hard separation? From mother of form to acknowledging the mother within, The grace, the beauty, the charm and the sexuality, Acceptance to debates to gratitude and the world stands changed.

It’s her beliefs that I honour, It’s in her soul that I rest, It’s in her voice that I find my comfort, It’s in her eyes that I see my pain, I see my happiness in her body, I see that walk that I know, I hold that moment when perhaps she had doubts about holding me like a pro.

The warrior self of hers sits in silence for hours before a roar, She watches over every step of her children, Nothing unjust ever misses her attention, She is the strength that she bestows, She sits in silence on breaking the harmony, Her heart bleeds in pain, I guess, She doesn’t raise her voice for every cause, But supports some in disdain, She does wish that the wind would change direction, She does wish for the sun to be bright, She does wish the best for every single one of us, But alas some of her wishes fail through her own sight.

There’s nothing wrong in being wrong, There’s nothing worrisome in making mistakes, Mother too like every single form has the rights to move through change. But don’t be disheartened by her changing states The everlasting, ever-changing forms that make the formless, If manifestations had to be all correct, then why would un-manifested dominate?

when do I need Ma the most? Perhaps every single minute, perhaps every second. Does she need me too? I ask and wonder, I think I know the answer, She believes that I am her companion in the soul.

In moments of silence, serendipity sheds its veil, There is always a question that crosses my mind, Did I even get this correct?

What I see as a mother, what I worship as one, is all the same, There are embodiments of the un-manifested that only manifested ones hold and celebrate.

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