The Durga Puja celebrations come to an end today. The idols of Maa Durga get immersed today in seas, rivers or lakes. This occasion is celebrated as Visarjan. People use to apply colours and sindoor on each other. They take the idols of the Goddess in their localities to the nearby river or sea. The roads would be blocked and the people move to the river by dancing. Instruments or some songs are being played. Women use to dance in the middle of the road without any shyness. Some men use to drink and dance (It’s recommended not to go by car in such roads).
I have experienced an incident when I was in Krishna Nagar (West Bengal). On such a Visarjan day, I was traveling in the car and the road was blocked by a mob. The driver (Bihari) kept on sounding the horn to pass the crowd. Some drunken idiots got annoyed and blocked the car. They started dancing in fron of the car and didnt move. Th short-tempered driver got down from the car and went to push them. Fortunately an old man who was like a Panchayat head of the village came and stopped them. He requested us to wait for 10 minutes till the crowd dispersed. I convinced the driver and made him sit inside and I enjoyed watching the people and their carefree attitude.
They take the Durga idols to the river bank and start immersing them in the river by bidding adieu to Maa. Some use to shed tears as if they give a farewell. It’s believed that the Goddess comes to their homes for a vacation during Durga Puja, lives with them for 10 days and leaves after 10th day. They eagerly expect for her arrival for the next vacation. My colleague/friend Amit is an active participant in Visarjan. The next day he would be absent and after a day’s off he would come to office with colours all over his face as if he played Holi. I wish that I could be in Kolkata during the next year’s Puja… Good Bye Goddess!!!
P.S: Immersion of clay idols makes the water get polluted. People should have civic sense to an extent and they should immerse very less idols just for the sake of tradition.