Monday, September 17, 2007

Viswakarma Puja

Tomorrow is Viwsakarma Puja - the day when pujas are performed for the divine engineer On this day, workers in factories and workshops, offer the tools and the instruments of their trades to the deity. More details here.

Sitting here indoors, in Gurgaon, I don't feel it. Kolkata however would be a different scene altogether. Buses, taxis, cars would be strung with flowers. Most factories would observe a holiday, but the workers wouldn't be at home. They would have a puja in the factory followed by a grand meal! This is very big with the drivers too. Also, the skies would be FULL of kites.

At home in Kolkata, the drivers would come around and collect "Chanda", money for the puja. And then there would be the feast. There was one Viswakarma puja we were invited to just after we had just moved in to our recently constructed appartments. The ground floor was still not complete and was full of gunny bags, cement and what not. The contractor and architect of the building had invited all the flat owners. We went for the post puja meal.

I was very hungry and ate the first few courses (all vegetarian) with great gusto and waited for the chutney-mishti which - the normal last course of every meal only to find, that they were serving mutton curry! I was aghast (not at the sacrilege of serving meat in a religious cermony) but at the fact that I was rather full and the mutton curry looked delicious. It was just the contractor bosses way of saying thank you to the workers. This is apparently the norm every where in Kolkata. And this cuts accross religions as well. Another owner of a taxi service told us that all his drivers - irrespective of religion, participated in their Viswakarma puja enthusiastically.

Since then, I have never had the chance to participate in one, but if I do, I will go slow on the first vegetarian courses!!

1 comment:

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