Makar Sankranti : My memory

January 14, 2014



Imager sankrantiDipping in holy water at the dawn  is the ritual practice of common  Hindus in Bengal. People from other parts are no longer laggards in this respect. Toady , in this very Makar day , Ganga Sagar has been  a leading news  in media. Large crowd gives the shape the mammoth mela.   Again, Ganga Sagar mela is now not limited to India but  an  interesting subject  to Westerns.  Apart from Sagar, we see such  congregation   on the banks of river Ganges  people cleansing their sins, memorizing ancestors and hoping for future. 

I recall my childhood past in Bankura & Purulia.  There are no Ganges but Damodar, Kasai ,Subranarekha & other small rivers.  All these streams  turn to holy spots. in my native place we have no rivers . We have one holy pond. It is named BOLPUKHUR. There are many myths with this pond. The Pond is regarded as a lve-entity. The pond speaks to the holy persons.  I recall that all we surrounded to the spot at mid-night ,say around 2-3 p.m.  in every para there were groups who will march  the place.. capture the best place  . The day was the final of  month drawn preparation.  Straw gathering  by snatching, begging or any means were the month -long preparation . Any cart load passing through street was forced to  donate straw-club for Makar sankranti. The caochman of the bullock cart loaded with straw in many occasion voluntarily gave straws to the kids. however, all of us thus collected huge mass of straws. On the day of Makarsankranti, we carried those to the Bolpkukhur at mid-night. There were bon-fire. Warming the body we used to dip in the cold water of Bolpukhur.  Finishing this with cheerers and louds we return to home. we are cleaned .

Gargara pitha is ready . Khejur-gur is served. all  we enjoyed . there wer competition among our brothers in terms of eating Gargari-pitha. we used to count in terms of Pans. 

The day is also the finishing day of Tusu. The whole month  girls have devoted  evenings by singing Tusu. Tusu represents clay balls mixed with cowdung & husk placed in  earthen Mangal ghat. Girls dip in holy water. The bolls are immersed and return back with new clothes  with singing. A festive look is found all over there. 

I happened to go to Arsa and saw how Tusu  was being felicitated in the banks of Kasai river. Similarly, village festival in Subrnarekha I memorize.   Those days are past. I am far away.. but pitha, tusu are still vivid in my mind.

I took pithas here but these are different from Gargari.


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