So I had said I was going to show you what the city looks like during Durga Puja, however, as it almost inevitable in these parts of our world, I fell ill about three days of the four days of Puja and I quarantined myself from the world outside. I was then, only able to capture a hint of the festive spirit and clearly did not do it justice, the true magnitude of this Hindu holiday it is difficult to describe in words.

Oh well, you get an idea. I am Puja-out.

Aaron and I had been invited to go on a boat tour on the Hooghly river on the last day of Puja– this is when all the gods are let to rest in the river and are anticlimactically pull up from the water by a crane in order to ‘not pollute’ the most polluted river in the world, probably.

If only the cranes could stay around for at least another 364 days… sigh..

But, again, I was not able to go on the boat tour because I was so under the weather, all I wanted to do was stay at home and watch Mad Men re-runs.

The photos of the river are taken by my wonderful friend and love, Aaron. He did superbly.

 Clearly, not the god’s best side

 
  ‘Ghat’ literally means steps, there are many ghats along the Hooghly river where people go worship, pray, wash clothes, bathe, and sometimes even go potty

 

The sound of drums and party horns are the sounds of Puja. The resourcefulness of people here never ceases to amaze me; drums made from old tin paint containers and whistles from recycled paper. You don’t have to be rich to make some serious noise.

 That pandal at the end of the road was build in about 1 week; It is made from bamboo, jute ropes, foam-board, cloth and wood and it is a temporary home for the goddess. There are about 3,600 of these buildings around the city only constructed for this holiday. I saw on the newspaper that the city spent about $2.5 million dollars on pandals alone.

 Shoot a balloon for fun, but no prices, kids.