Jamai Shasthi—Reflects Patriarchal Society

Today in West Bengal Jamai Shahthi is celebrated with Pomp and

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This one is must, I mean the preparation of fish head but this size will not work…at least two times larger than this one is much needed.

mutton

Fish head will never lose its priority but with time mutton also has got a place with fish head…yes, yes mutton, not chicken, chicken is cheaper than mutton, so if mutton is not served it can leave a bad impact (Lesser amount of love and respect).

What about other dishes?….there must be minimum five different dishes of different vegetables along with all these there should be sweets, fruits and curd.

The arrangement is so huge (and a must one) that a normal human being can’t take all the foods in a day but it must be done.

 

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Dhoti Punjabi!!!! O ho, who wears this dress now a day…it’s an old fashion, so this dress has lost its dignity and jeans-t-shirts have taken this place.

 

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Same thing has happened with umbrella also…rain coat is much user friendly, so umbrella also has lost its pride and rain coat has taken that place.

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Yesterday I visited a watch shop to get our wall clock, that wall clock suddenly stopped working and after checking the clock I realized that it needs a replacement of the machine, so few days ago I given to a repair shop and yesterday I had to bring it.

 

When I entered the shop there were already two customers present, a girl, hardly of age 30 with her mother, they were buying a wrist watch, seeing their dress one can easily understand that their financial condition is not good at all, but they had to buy a good wrist watch, seeing them in shop I realized that the mother was buying the watch for her son-in-law, it’s a gift from the in-laws house.

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Exactly This design they have bought.

It was tough for them to expend 500 rupees, their financial condition does not support it but they are bound to it, it’s not only about the watch they also have to arrange various types of foods (Mentioned above)

Jamai Shashthi is a Bengali ritual when son-in-laws get king like treatment from their in-laws house; it’s an age old ritual and still existing with all its glory and as I feel this ritual reflects that our society is still a patriarchal society.

Is there any ritual when the girls gets Queen like treatment from their in-laws houses? Whenever it’s about the girls the first thing comes first is fasting…whether it’s Kaurva Chauth or Shivratri.

Men do not seek best welfare for their wives? if they seek so then they must also go for whole day of fasting and offering Pujas to certain Gods-Goddesses but unfortunately it cant be seen.

If worshiping certain deities after a whole day of fasting…you can wish good for someone…then why only these rituals are for the girls and not for the boys?

Shasthi…Is a religious ritual named after Semi-Goddess Maa Shasthi who is worshiped by the mothers for the well being of their children, during this Puja every mother have to go for half-fasting(Rice and Flours can’t be taken, depends upon the tradition of the family). There were no existence of giving king like treatment to the son-in-laws in this particular day, in ancient time the parents (Specially the mother) of a girl were not allowed to visit the in-laws of the girl and the girls were also not allowed to visit her paternal house until she become pregnant, so later the dictators has made this ritual named “Jamai Shahthi” when the girl will visit her paternal house with her husband and that husband will get king like treatment.

So here lies the differences…The girls (Mothers) will fast and the boys (Men) will rejoice the day with sumptuous feast

Bakreswar

Har Har Mahadev

This is Shivratri special post and I am going to share something very interesting today…

Do you know the “Tandav Nritya”?

let me tell you in short…when Dakhsyaraj insulted Lord Shiva, Sati(another form of Parvati) could not bear the incident and sacrificed her life in the same Yagna(fire worship ritual) performed by her own father(Dakshyaraj),for this incident Lord Shiva lost control over himself and became so angry that he started the Tandava Nritya(Dance of Destruction) taking Sati on his shoulder…so this is all about Tandava Nritya.

So happened next?

Seeing the destructive dance of Lord Shiva lord Vishnu realized that the creation is at a stake, so he hit upon a plan to preserve the creation and using Sudarshan Chakra he cut the body of Sati gradually, the different of Sati’s body fell in different places and termed as Satis pith or “Shakti Pith”, today I visited of them that is Bakreswar where the eyebrow of Sati fell.

It is certain that where is Sati there must Lord Shiva around…no exception here.

This is the mythological story of Bakreswar.

In the day of Shivratri large numbers of pilgrimages visit this place to worship Lord Shiva, after taking bath in the hot spring they visit the temple and perform Puja. The crowd is really noticeable, a fair is also held during Shivratri and in the month of Shravana(considered as the worshiping month of Lord Shiva)

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Entrance of Shiva Temple
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Another Entrance
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Pilgrimages

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entrance of bathing Place…

Taking Bath before Puja…

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The Line for Puja

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A part of the fair

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There are separate accommodation for bathing for gents and Ladies with cleana nd clear room for change.

There two more interesting things can be seen here…

Natural Hot Spring

The most interesting thing that can be seen here is the natural hot spring, which is existing for long years and still in the same form, the temperature of this spring is approx. 66 degree Celsius, so far I have come to know that the Helium gas under the earth surface of this place is coming out for several years and making the spring hot. The surprising fact is if you throw rice here they will not be boiled.

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Hot spring and the vapor

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img_1997It is said that…before the earthquake the water of this spring start to vibrate and seeing this the local people easily understand that an earthquake will take place very soon.

Cremation Ground

another interesting fact that can herd here is about the cremation ground….it is said that the burning of dead bodies never stop here, I heard 8 years back, then again 6 years back when I visited with my maternal uncle and aunty, then again heard three years back and now again.

New addition of this place is the 10 feet long Shiva linga of white marble that has brought from Croesia…img_2096img_2097

Many small sized temples can be seen here out of the boundary of the min temple, now a days they are fighting enough to exist.img_2006img_2007img_2014img_2017img_2084

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Now the Main Gate of the Temple

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The temple head from outside…img_2053img_2038

How to Reach:-

Bakreswar is in the district of Birbhum(West Bengal), in between Suri, the district town and Dubrajpur. Buses are available from Suri and Dubrajpur and its average 40minutes bus ride from both the places.

STC buses and trains are available from Howrah to Suri and its always better to visit Bakreswar through Suri if you are coming from Kolkata coz you cant reach Dubrajpur directly from Kolkata.

Saraswati Puja—A Bengali’s View

img_1709Saraswati Puja…one of the biggest festivals of Bengalis. Every year it is celebrated with pomp and grandeur all over the West Bengal.

Today I am going to share the experience of a Bengali…that is mine.

There are many interesting traditions attached with Saraswati Puja which you will not be able to find in any other Puja…

Tradition 1:-Pandal

There are not so many tough rules and regulations like other Pujas and Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of education and art so naturally students worship Maa Saraswati with deep belief and devotion so that they become blessed by Maa Saraswati and for these two reasons(as I think) Saraswati Puja is been celebrated by lots of groups from child groups to elder ones.

Now comes the budget…there is no need of huge money like Durga Puja to arrange Saraswati Puja  so it is easier to arrange this Puja, as there are lots of groups with low budget celebrates this puja so naturally it becomes very tough for them to rent Pandals from the decorators, from my very childhood days I am seeing people to make the pandals with the sarees …yes with the sarees, the less used and new sarees they hire from neighbors and from the houses of the members of the Puja committee.

With the change of era and with the concept of “Theme Puja” now-a-days some groups making different themes even in their low budget but still there are some Puja organizers who decorate their pandals with saree and sometime bed sheets also used.

Here are two pictures of celebration in our last rental house….the place was decorated with bed sheets.

 

with time the decoration changed in the colony of our last rental house…

Pics of 2011…

Pics of 2012

now after shifting in our own house, here are some pics of our present colony…

here you can see the decoration from the decorators…

The rally of immersion here(2013)…

 

This year a decoration with Saree in a village Puja….

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This year in the same village decoaration with “theme” concept….img_20170131_193544

in my house the tradition of decorating the Puja place with saree or bed sheets is still maintained, here are some pics…

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Tradition 2:-Fish

This tradition I am observing from my very childhood days…in the day of Saraswati puja fishes are being caught from the ponds and supplied to the owner of the pond. When I was a child there used to a heap of fishes in the barandah(Yards) of our house those were caught from our two ponds and then those fishes used to be shared with other relatives and neighbors and some amount used to be kept for us. This tradition is still maintained in villages.

After our shifting from village to present town the care takers of our pond (now only one left) have not sent any fish for last more than ten years, it’s their ungratefulness and cheating that they were doing from several years but from the last two years when I had to interfere (for some reasons) in this matter they are sending some amount of fishes…above all I don’t have pity and mercy for the cheaters and also I think that there is no logic to leave my share.

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From our Tank
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From one of my students House(2017)
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From the same students house 2015

Tradition 3:- Arandhan diwas(No Cooking Day)

No cooking day…this is the day just after the day of Sarswati Puja when cooking is not done in any house, in the day of Puja the women of the houses makes the necessary foods for the next day and in the next day it is being taken, this food taking ritual is called “Sijano” and I don’t know from where the word has originated. As saraswati Puja takes place in winter so there happen no problem in preserving the foods for a day. In the day of no cooking all the foods are cold(as not heated) and it really tastes very different, it is said that if you take these foods sitting in sunlight you will get an immense pleasure during your lunch.

Tradition 4:- No washing day

Another interesting tradition is…washing clothes is not allowed during  Saraswati Puja and the next day.

Tradition 5:-Saree wearing

In the day of Saraswati Puja the very old age tradition that can be seen is…girls wear saree in this day, irrespective of age and status that is children and unmarried girls also wear saree.img_3649

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Tradition 6:-HatheKhari

In front of deity Saraswati the first official writing of new kid starts through the hand of the Purohit(Priest).img-20160213-wa0002

the analysis are totally mine and the experience i have shared is my personal….i cant tell anything about celebration of any other state coz i have never visited them.