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The festival of light: the vibration of Post-Durga festival
The Kali-worship & Diwali

By Bangla Blogaru
(This article was written on 24th October 2014)

The Mother Kali

The Mother Kali (before finishing the idol)       Photo credit: Samir Bhattarcharya

Today is the day for Diwali, the all India Hindu festival. Yesterday this was the day for the Goddess Kali-worship or Shyama-worship. Shyama is another name of Goddess Kali (blue colored idol). This is significant to say that this festival is an extension of Sharod festival organized by the Bengali Hindu Peoples. In this day Bengali people arrange to place series of candles called Pradeep— a candle-like lamps, on the roof, doorsteps or everywhere to light up entire area and the recent Chinese LED lamp’s illumination is an extra added advantage. The mind-boggling lighting and brightness of the fireworks, the furious look of her, appearance and beauty of Goddess Kalika (Kali), the black idol, in the deep darkness of mid-night environment, the worship of Devi (Goddess Kali) in pandals (pavilion of Goddess) and temples, the night-stay by the dedicated, devoted Mother Kali lovers with an imaginative ghosts (the co-followers of Kali according to Kalika Purana or mythology), Dakini-Jogini (another kind of co-followers of Kali) and Shyamapoka (an insect), the mind-set of Bengali people utters a word “Maa! Maa!” (Hail Mom!), to say welcome for their favorite fest.

The followers of Mother Kali (before finishing a look)     Photo credit: Samir Bhattacharya
For more pictures please go to

The uoollash (an expression of enjoyment) by the hard-core outlaw hooligans do when the bombs (it’s called chocolate bomb) explode for a tremendous irritating sounds produced by their crackers that results an arrest of hooligans by the police. Children take sweets on their palm leafs that produces a smell of firework’s powder. The table bookings for veg or non-veg dinner in hotels or motels, in the home cocktail party various types of tasty foreign or country’s spicy foods with sufficient number of pegs of wine or liquor which is not forbidden by the house wives because they allow hard drinks on that special day; many bottles of two-litter-Coke or Pepsi are stacked for the subodh-baboos’(gentle and good guy) preferable soft drinks—all along the extended autumn festival of the Bengali folks’ enjoyment have become a great achievement!

A sudden bit produces sounds with skilled performance by the dhakees and dhoolees (drummers), people are deeply involved to concentrate into the uttering mantras (the Sanskrit Slokas) in the worship of Goddess, they, being converted from stanyopayee (mammals) to madyopayee (who likes to drink always) prefer to drink wine or liquor openly or in hidden or underground areas; they mix it with water in ready-made water bottle which is available in any paan-cigarette-shops and they enjoy full-fledged festive mood in a delightful manners, because in this event of Kali-Aradhona (worshiping Goddess Kali) the liquor or wine is allowed as per puja norms, at the same time somebody who also is addicted to like the pesad of baba he tries to get it as usual though it is forbidden by the law.

Perhaps Mother Kali is the only rising goddess who is being worshiped by the folks of all classes from all professions among the Hindu community. From hooligans to politician, business man to industrialists, lawyer, doctor etc. and localized cultural club/organization to high-profile personalities— generally many of them either organize the puja-event or go to the Kali temples for worshiping Goddess.

We never understand how much mother Kali is satisfied after having this aradhona (worshiping), it’s certain that she is fundamentally very much popular than others and she must win among all other candidates if she would like to contest in national election. Pannalal’s mind boggling Ramprasadian songs in pandals on mother Kali and its vibration creates a stimulated situation that makes people is energized to cling it.

The Bengali people wait for one month after fitting a candle on the top of a long and erected bamboo stick fitted over the roof of the house which is called akashdeep that means the candle in the sky and they light up the chains of candles one after one on that special day of the year, also try to sweep out the darkness in their mind-set. During the year they have forgotten their original living mother and their duty is to set her in a home for old citizens, they are crying “Maa! Maa!” and they are Bengalis who enjoys the festival in home or pandals.

Ritwik Kumar Ghatak

Ritwik Kumar Ghatak

The thoughts on Kali (the term Kali or Kalika was adopted from Kal that means Time, likewise Mahakal is the Biggest Time) is the mythology-based philosophical analysis that depends on the basic structure of Hindu Bengali peoples’ own religious cultural identity which was produced entirely on the concept of time, from where the great religious philosopher, Ramakrishna showed the path of multifariousness when he said “ So many opinions show so many paths.” Ramprasad who was an authentic and aesthetically rich and creative poet-singer of Kali-cult, as a human being he said to cultivate the unfertilized human land of mind (human soul) where the gold (sona or in true sense it’s an enlightenment) might be generated. The manifold pr-axis of mother cult which was still continued to 20th century that stirred many of the Bengali thinkers; it’s heard that an experienced hard-core materialist who also made himself inclined to Maa Kali philosophy to be involved deeply. We know the history of foreigners who were involved to practice the mother cult. The painting on Kali series by Tayeb Mehta has been purchased in exchange of huge money in an art auction out side of India and that’s it, and wonderful unbelievable incidence! The well-known Bengali film maker Ritwik Kumar Ghatak did his works on the basis of collective consciousness during his whole life which is related to the mother cult and it was included to all films that he directed. For that reason, some body else says a joke that the mother washes his brain! After the vasan (immersion) of idols, today those ‘Maa Maa’ callers and prayers of Bengali people put an end to the yearly festivals through the enjoyment of another family program after the Post-Durga-Fest.
Please Note:

Dewali- Dewali is all India festival of light, celebrated by Hindu Peoples.
Shyama- Shyama is another name of Kali Goddess who is blue colored idol.
Sharod festival- Sharod festival is the autumn festival when Devi Durga is worshipped.
Pradeep– It’s a candle-like lamp which is a tapering container made of clay or bronze that contains mustard oil as fuel and a slick cotton tape that sinks into the oil for firing on as like as wax candle.
Devi– Devi means Goddess. In Bengali in colloquial form it’s said Deb (masculine gender), Debi, Debota (masculine gender) and Danob (Demon).
Pandal– Pavilion for goddess Kali idol is placed for worshipping.
Kalika Purana– Purana means mythology. So it’s Kalika Mythology. Sometimes Goddess Kali is called as Kalika.
Dakini-Jogini– Another kind of followers of Kali.
Shyamapoka- Shyamapoka is an insect called Shyama in relation to another name of goddess Kali which is mentioned here.
Maa- Maa means Mother.
Uoollash- Uoolash means enjoyment, pleasure, an expression of highest happiness.
Subodh Baboo– Subodh Baboo means the gentle and good guy. Subodh means gentleman who is modest and Baboo means Mr. (such as Baboo Subodh Chandra Mallik).
Dhakee & Dhoolee- Dhakee & Dhoolee are the drummers of Dhak and Dhol. Both Dhak and Dhol are drums on which player or drummer plays Boles skillfully by sticks on the occasion of worship.
Bole- This is a combination of different kind of sounds produced by the beating with sticks or hand, fingers which player can pronounce just alike speaking words.
Mantras- The Sanskrit Slokas (Sanskrit poems) that are pronounced at the time of Devi worship.
Stanyopayee- In Bengali Stanyopayee means mammals.
Madyopayee- This is a colloquial word that means that anybody who prefers to drink wine or country liquor everyday, here it’s an expression to mention a similarity to each other in lyrical form of both words.
Paan- This is a leaf with vegetable ingredients for chewing after lunch or dinner normally.
Aradhona- Aradhona means worshiping.
Puja- Puja means to worship.
Baba- Here Baba is Lord Shiva. In Bengal folks are fond of Shiva, so they call him Baba, Baba means father, papa, daddy etc.
Aamro Pallob- This Aamro Pallob or Amer pallob is the foliage of mango tree. A small bunch of foliage is placed on Ghata – a container which is made of copper kept in front of God or Goddess.
Dhan-Doobba- Dhan is Paddy grain and Doobba is a single piece small green grass that generates between two long leaves of grass.
Pesad- In standard Bengali the word is Prosad that is converted to Pesad in colloquial form. Generally fruits, vegetables, sweets, milk, water (collected from Ganga River, previously River Ganges), flowers, mango leaves (Aamro Pallob), green grass (Doobbo), food grains etc., sometimes country liquor (in case of Kali Puja) and bit of narcotic drug such as Ganja (marijuana), Charas, Hassis etc., and many more things are offered to God or Goddess at the time of worship.
Baba’s Pesad- Actually according to myths Shiva is addicted to smoke marijuana and folks are fond of Lord Shiva, so they like to share it as Baba likes it and they call it Baba’s pesad.
Pannalal- Pannalal Bhattacharya, a singer of Maa Kali songs and he was passionate to sing Ramprasadian songs.
Ramprasad- Ramprasad was an obsessive Kali Sadhok (sagacious or wise), a poet and singer who wrote and sung so many songs on Maa Kali philosophy in 19th century; he lived in Halishahor, nearest to Kolkata.
Vasan- Vasan is the immersion of the idol that happens in any River, pond or in Ganga.

Ritwik Kumar Ghatak – Marxist thinker and film maker Ritwik Kumar Ghatak was the most important film director and he played a significant role in the movement of new Indian cinema of late 50s. His first production Nagorik (The Citizen) was directed by him in the year 1950 and the last production Titas Ekti Nadeer Naam ( The name of the river is Titas) was directed in 1974 after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971. The Mother-Cult and the Collective Consciousness were the main directives that carried out by his all films in the direction to signify the role of content and film-treatment. His most successful films are Komol Gandhar, Subarnorekha, Jukti Takko Gappo (The Reason, Argument and Story), Ajantrik, Titas Ekti Nadeer Naam etc.



About নীলসীন neelseen

নীলোৎপল সিংহ ( জন্ম.১৯৬০ ) কলকাতায় (ক্যালকাটা, ভারত ) বসবাস করেন। একজন কলকাতাবাসী শিল্পী হিসাবে তিনি দীর্ঘ ত্রিশবছর ব্যাপী চিত্রকলা ও নিউ মিডিয়া প্রকল্প চর্চার সঙ্গে যুক্ত আছেন। Nilotpal Sinha ( b.1960 ) lives in Kolkata (Calcutta, India ), Being a Kolkata based artist he is engaged in painting and new media projects during last thirty years.
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