Durga Puja was this past weekend. With the metro open until 4pm, there were back to back all night parties, which I, being the old man I feel like, did not often have the energy to attend.
The photos above are at different puja sites. You can see how trippy the puja sites can be. The wheels in the third photo were constantly spinning, and a loudspeaker was playing soothing music, making the whole scene surreal.
The final photo is an image of Ganesh made entirely out of different types of gram (dal) and glue. The complexity and creativity of designs of puja sights is incredibly given the inexpensive materials they are made from—cardboard, gram, besan, bamboo, twine. One puja site had five or six series of ping balls attached to bent metal poles on motors. They were synchronized to provide a constant background noise. It was incredible to listen to!
Everything in durga puja is temporary and will be taken down at the end of the festival. The pandals, which are constructed out of bamboo, will be desconstructed, the twine holding the bamboo together removed, and the idols of Durga dumped in the river. As everything comes from the Ganges (Hooghly) everything will return to the Hooghly, and the process will continue, year after year.
Idol submerging is tomorrow night!