Just another goodbye letter….

Dear 2020,

I bet your inbox is filled with lots many messages by now, so I thought why not one more.

Keeping aside this virus and all the tragic deaths which happened whilst your stay lets get a bit personal. You know that just an year ago in the month of December of your preceding year 2019 I tried to do something really drastic, and which when I look back now seems as something which was quite stupid as well. But well, lucky me or whatever I’m still here and breathing and maybe that’s why despite the huge number of curses and trolls and angry mails which you might have received here’s a small thank you letter from me.

Now before you start getting too happy about it just know that yes you sucked quite a bit. And if I bring up my Indian perspective to things, then well, this year has seen the unfortunate deaths of so many people and of so many talented individuals.

But then again, it’s just a personal letter, and since I’ve already said that this is gonna be a thank you letter so here are a few things for which you deserve my humble thankfulness:

  1. As Uni was getting more and more stressful and traumatic I desperately needed a break, and although it came at a heavy and painful cost, I had so much time to think about life and my purpose in this vast sphere of existence.
  2. A life without purpose is a hard one to live. A purpose encourages us to push through our circumstances bringing inner peace and happiness. And thanks 2020 for letting me find my own interests and skills
  3. Not that I wasn’t anxious or lonely, whilst quite the contrary I went desperate for human interaction at the same time avoiding it partly due to covid (arghh I hate to type even it’s name) and partly due to my Paranoid Anxiety, I still found out some ways of dealing with my issues
  4. It’s hard to make friends as you age, but here’s a big thanks for at least making me realize who my true friends were and who were just wearing the mask of friendship over their narcissistic faces.
  5. Thanks for not making me covid positive so far and please make those who are affected heal fast.
  6. Since 2021 is arriving on platform Earth soon thanks in advance for telling it not to suck so much as you did.
  7. And finally, thanks a lot for being the year where I start my WordPress journey. Being a part of this huge community of such talented and wonderful people have been a pleasure. I’m so glad to know such amazing people. Hope to meet more very soon.

Well, I guess that’s quite it for you. It’s a bit sad that like all those years before you we aren’t gonna see you around anymore, but who knows maybe it’s actually a gentle riddance, haha.

But may you rest well 2020 even after all the inconveniences you have thrown at us, and well let’s hope you’ve very well instructed 2021 to be a hell good of a year. Looking forward to meet it soon, the countdown has already begun tik…..tik…..tik….

-Yours truly,

Shounak (the paranoid) Sanyal

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Playing the victim? Maybe

Okay so my semesters are over now, but somehow I can’t just let out a sigh of relief and chill with my friends. Well, because I don’t have any ………Friends…

But looking back now I feel I never really had many friends in the first place. It’s only now when I cant go out much and am stuck at home that I start noticing these things. But none the less, I did have some friends down the way. But maybe not anymore……

Why? Well let’s talk about it today…….

Now I don’t really know what Wikipedia or the Dictionary says about a friend, but personally I feel it all depends on what a person expects a friend to be. Sometimes those expectations are clear, but many times they aren’t so clear. Like what if you ask Billy and Jilly who study at kindergarten as to why they are friends? Quite a strange question to ask isn’t it?

But human interactions and relationships aren’t always dictated by reasons and logic, and perhaps it shouldn’t be. But sometimes a lack of understanding of what to expect from a person or a group of people could make things a bit difficult.

Now maybe it’s just me because I don’t see many people like this around me, but since my childhood revolved around school, and trying to get good grades (which I never got) I was made to feel that spending time with friends was a waste of precious time. Time, which I could have used to study and maybe I wouldn’t have flunked my algebra test. So I never really got a chance to interact with people much. Add the 12 years of bullying to it and you have a socially awkward individual.

Now before I make this post a wall of self pity, all this background history is to imply to only one fact that….

I never really got to chill and be around with people my age.

Result: I often used to find myself looking at groups of people hanging out, whilst I didn’t have a group of my own.

But it wasn’t a matter at that time as I always from one group to another, trying to hangout and make friends with them. Sometimes it worked, many times it didn’t.

In either case, I lost touch with most people after I finished school. But fortunately or not, I managed to keep contact with a handful few.

And well, I thought they were my true friends, for you always only have a handful of people to call that. Now as I was saying………… sometimes a lack of understanding of what to expect from a person or a group of people could make things a bit difficult. And I didn’t really know what to expect.

But through time, I’ve actually realized the things that I don’t expect from a friend.

  1. I don’t want my friends to be nice to me when no one’s around, and to make fun of me when we’re with a group of people, just to show he’s a funny and confident person.
  2. I want to support to someone who’s venting, but when it’s my time to vent about stuff, I don’t want them to ignore and talk shit about it.
  3. No one’s in a mood to joke and goof around all the time. If you think people will always be ready to fool with you whenever you wish, you are wrong.
  4. I don’t want people to be unempathetic, it’s not always possible to understand what someone’s going through, but we could at least give that person some space.
  5. All of us have issues with our lives, but if we only think ourselves as the one’s with trouble, blaming the rest for our condition, not trying to understand the circumstances others are in, well, I don’t want that to be in a friend of mine either.

And well, there you have the reason why I removed contact from all my “friends”. Now maybe a lot of people have such issues with their friends, but not all of them cut ties like me. I think I could still stand up for myself, talk to my friends about all these stuff, and although I have tried a few times and you can always try some more, I guess at this point of time in life I am just finding comfort playing the victim.

Or maybe doing anything else is just outside my comfort zone.

In either case however there’s this strange sense of comfort despite labeling myself as the victim. I guess that’s probably because I now have fewer expectations from people in general.

But crazy as I am I know I can’t stay in this state forever haha, it’s an ever changing life.

So yep, looking what the future brings, and actually now that I’ve written my heart out in this post I feel lot better. I’d say even a bit happy, Damn I love Blogging !!! haha

Anyways, I guess imma end it here for today. Hope you have a good day, oh reader whoever you are reading this, and I’ll see ya in the next post. Take care!

Pujo 2k20 diaries


I am a resident of Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, a state in Eastern India. In my native language Bengali, there is a well known proverb called as ‘Baro Mashe Tyaro Parbon’ which literally means there are countless number of festivals which are celebrated within a span of twelve lunar months in a year. Out of them, the festival which stands out the most is Durga Puja, which is celebrated for a span of five days.

Religious significance of the festival

The first nine days of the lunar month Ashwin in Bengali calendar are dedicated to the divine feminine. On these nine days, three dimensions of the feminine, namely Durga (represents Tamas Guna), Saraswati (represents Rajas Guna), and Laxmi (represents Sattva Guna) are worshipped. Out of these nine days, the final five days (MahaShasthi, MahaSaptami, MahaAshtami, MahaNabami and VijayaDashami) are considered to be most significant, during which Durga Puja is been practiced. In other parts of India (outside of West Bengal), these days are celebrated as ‘Navaratri’.

Why pujo 2k20 has been so different?

We all know that this year 2020 featured an enormous number of strange happenings. Coincidentally, this year’s Durga Puja was associated with an anomaly. Due to some astrological reasons, the month of Ashwin of this year 2020 had been labelled as ‘Molo Maash’, or an impious month in which practice of any auspicious event is prohibited. So as a result, Durga Puja got shifted to the following month of Kartikeya.

In the month of April of this year, it was rumoured that the occurence of Durga Puja might be in jeopardy, because of covid-19 outbreak. This left many people heavy-hearted. 2020 has been a very uncharacteristic year, people are forced to stay indoors, and this has resulted in numerous cases of psycological depression, and things would have gone worse if Durga Puja was forbidden. But fortunately, such a thing didn’t happen. Instead, it was ensured that certain safety measures were to be taken care of.

Just a few days before the commencement of the festival, the State High court passed an order restraining people from entering puja pandals, which would otherwise result in overcrowding and hence expand covid-19 cases in the city. People were given the permission to view the idols from outside the pandal enclosure, but not move inside

This has been a successful order, because this law had really made a big impact in reducing crowds. The streets during puja days of this year were appearing to be almost deserted as compared to those of other years. Streets, Metro rail, Puja Pandals, which usually remains jam-packed during festive times, were almost left vaccant. This didn’t keep up the festive spirits. Yes, it was awkward, but the positive sign of it is that people showed more awareness by preferring to stay indoors most of the times. As a result, the covid-19 cases in Kolkata didn’t undergo a much steep rise as it was expected to be.

My ways of spending this year’s pujo

Normally, we hang out in puja pandals on each of the five days of the festival. But this year it was made impossible due to covid-19 outbreak, so people were forced to stay indoors. During the initial phase of the festival, we too were overly cautious, afraid to move out of our homes. We were virtually viewing the idols and puja pandals of all the acclaimed, notable puja commities on our television screen or on social media. Since I was staying indoors most of the times this year, I had the sufficient time to chant Devi Mahatmyam hymns dedicated to the Goddess Durga every morning from the day of Panchami to the final day of the festival Dashami. Waking up early in the morning, taking bath and chanting Sanskrit shlokas on those auspicious days always makes a person feel much more calm and energetic for the entire day.

On news channels and social media, I noticed that there were not many people assembling in the vicinity of the puja pandals, and the metro stations seemed to be almost vaccant. This fact surprised me, and triggered my courage of moving out of home. Then on the day of Ashtami, I decided to go out to a bit far-off places. In doing so, being a responsible citizen, I took all the necessary safety measures to ensure that I don’t get myself infected. I masked myself properly, carried a small botle of alcoholic sanitiser, and maintained social distancing as much as possible. I went to the nearest metro station for the first time since the covid-19 pandemic commenced in India way back in March. I was pleased to see how all the protective measures were been taken care of wih extreme caution. A new system of online pre-booking of passes has been introduced, and it was made mandatory to be followed by all metro passengers. In addition to that, the temperature of all the passangers was been checked. The previous system involving metro tokens has been ceased. But it was quite unnatural to see an almost abandoned metro staion during puja times. When I boarded the metro, I saw hardly thiry people sitting in an entire carriage. One positive aspect of it was that I was having no difficulty in maintaining social distancing. Shortly after, I experienced absolute rejuvination when I viewed an idol of the Goddess for the first time in the year 2020. In almost every pandal, there were sufficient arrangements of sanitisers, and the police forces were trying their level best in preventing people from getting assembled.

The transition period between Ashtami and Nobomi is termed as ‘Sandhikkhon’, during which ‘Sandhi Puja’ is practiced. According to Devi Bhagavat Purana, during Sandhikkhon, a fearsome dark manifestation of the divine mother, Devi Chamunda, emerged out of the third eye of Devi Kaushiki (another form of Durga) in order to slay two demons named Chanda and Munda. Sandhi Puja is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda and involves loud beating of drums and animal sacrifice. But nowadays in most places, in order to avoid bloodshed and make things more aesthetic, an ashgourd is been offered to the Goddess instead of the life of an innocent animal. We went to the puja pandal nearest to our home to watch the practice of Sandhi Puja.

The last day Vijaya Dashami is the final day of worship. On this day, immersion of idols(Bisorjon) takes place. People shed tears, become grief-striken in seeing the huge idols involving deep sensitivities getting immersed in water, and plead to the goddess for coming back soon in the following year, by saying ‘Abar Eso Ma’. It is obvious that the ending of anything beautiful in life is always very despodent.

My few takeaways

It is true that each and every incredible thing in life has its ending, and so does Durga Puja. But while it is a living present, it is best to enjoy the time to the fullest, without bothering about its nearing end. I beleive that the most phenomenal aspect of a festival lies in its shorness. This is what makes people wait eagerly for an entire year. On the other hand, if a festival was too long, then it would have definitely lost its glaze. And once it is over, there is no use to grieve over it, and we should be ready to move on with our normal life.

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