Unfortunately, due to another really busy month of work, I was sadly unable to get to as many Durga Puja pandals in Mumbai as planned this year. In fact, I only visited my local one in Hiranandani Gardens, hosted by the Powai Bengali Welfare Association.
This year, their theme was “Gram Bangla” (rural Bengal). The idol of Goddess Durga was housed inside a 60 foot high hut, which took around 45 artisans over two months to construct. Its walls were painted with traditional patchitra art, depicting nine manifestations of Durga.
Last Sunday, during Navaratri, I attended a very insightful and inspiring one day photography course by Neville Bulsara in south Mumbai. I stopped by my inlaws home for dinner afterwards. Many of the married women of the area were gathered together in a nearby lane for the Haldi Kumkum ceremony. This is quite a social function for women in Maharastra, whereby the offerings of haldi and kumkum (turmeric and vermilion) are placed on their foreheads as a gesture of longevity for their husbands.