Friday, October 15, 2010


Today is Ashtami, and I assume that Maa Durga has already started to feel a little sad hollow in the pit of her stomach, because the end - of her longed-for visit to her baaper bari (maiden home) - is slowly drawing to a close.

I always feel a similar hollow in my (somewhat more rotund) tummy when I am in the midst of a holiday, because THE MIDDLE IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END, if you know what I mean.

And the really fun part of any holiday is the first part, just as the most maddening part is the packing before the journey.

Because our annual Diwali sojourn to Kolkata is drawing near, it was really quite easy to visualize this.

PLACE: Shiva's mountain-top villa/palace/cave in Kailash.

  • A flurried ten-handed goddess-wife-mother
  • A spaced-out, always-high husband
  • Four squabbling children
  • Sundry hapless assistants

Durga is packing suitcases. Ten hands help, but then, she has top carry a lot of weapons and other paraphernalia that'll be hanging on these arms for the stage-show. Plus, there is a hell of lot of pet-food to carry.

Durga: "Laxmi, you don't need so many gold biscuits and silver coins, just take the credit card. Saraswati, can't you swap those heavy tomes for an e-book reader? Ganesh, go on a diet, at least for the sake of your mouse! And Kartik, it is all right to be vain and metrosexual, but do you have to take so many boxes of pancake? Or your nasal hair trimmer? It is only five days, you know! Can we get things moving here? Nandi (Shiva's assistant, who is known to puff on his boss's chillum on the sly) have you booked our boat/elephant/horse/Meru Cab yet? Why does nothing here happen on time?

Shiva: "That's because we live out of eternity... (seeing Durga's frown)...At least look at me, I am such a light packer, taking only my tiger-skin toga."

The be-spectacled Saraswati (she wears contact lenses during the five days) looks up from her copy of Lonely Planet:
"Yeah, and PETA is after you for that. Can't you wear something more eco-friendly?"

Shiva: "What, like those Naga sanyasis. You'd prefer me to be a nude-dude, then?"

Laxmi: "Baba!! Don't shock Ma's suburban sensibilities."

Durga, distracted from her packing:
"Hah! I was always a metro miss till your father married me and dragged me to the jungles and hills. What a place! No network signal on my mobile, and no work from any of you!! Just look at me, I've been packing since days, and there's still so much left."

Ganesh, chewing the edge of his trunk (which means he's hungry):
"Don't forget to pack enough food for me. You never bother to cook food during holidays, and I get jolly tired to pecking on fruits and sweets given to us. These humans are too clever by half, they polish off the really tasty bhog pretty darn fast!"

Laxmi: "You've taken my jewelry box, haven't you? And don't try to filch my bangles. Please wear your own...having ten arms is no excuse for taking my bangles and bracelets."

Saraswati: "Have you taken my I-pod? That loud dhaaker music makes my head ache!"

Kartik: "Can we stay near a salon this year? Five days of smoke and fumes from the dhunuchi and my skin cries out for a facial. And I think I'd like to have my navel pierced, it'd look cool with my dhoti and angvastram."

Shiva: "Yeah, let's swap our mandap for a mall this year. Some of them have really good booze shops..."

Durga (frustrated, exhausted, exasperated) challenges:
"Fine. Just take care of the reservations. It's so not fair having to take you along every single time. What about some ME-TIME for poor old me? Any more back chat from you and I'm flying solo. It's MY HOLIDAY and I'm going to chill."


Anonymous said...

Ha ha! I certainly enjoyed this post, Sucharita!

Seems like Durga could do with a 'ladies' day out' with the other goddesses, leaving the families behind!

Harish said...

that was a wonderful imagination. i liked the mention of peta behind siva

Tulika Verma said...

Haha! Enchanting! Amazing imagination! :D

Susmita Biswas said...

ভাই সব বুঝলাম, কিন্তু বলতো শিব তি কে আর্ মা দূর্গা কে?
পুজো এনজয় করো

Kavi said...

Super !!

She sure is chilling out in Mumbai !

Lazyani said...

Brilliant:) Looks like a typical Bengali household getting ready for a vacation.

Onkar said...

Quite enjoyable

Nona said...

:) I was beaming from the first line! It is a good take on the gods. :) I loved it.

RGB said...

ROFL. Wonderful imagination. I actually played out the scene before me :)

nsiyer said...

Imagination at its best - absolutely fertile.
I trust Ma Durga will smile if She reads this.

Koel said...

lovely post !!!

Piscean Angel said...

Amazing !!! Doing some blog-hopping after a long time & it's so refreshing to come across such an imaginative & humorous post. U r good, as always.

sujata said...

LOL loved it!! Really really loved it. Happy hols to you.

Ankit said...

Wonderful Imagination.

Pinku said...

this is just so awesome...

please do a follow-up post on when they get back home after being dunked in the river/ sea...