Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome Home Maa

I woke up with a strange sense of happiness. Of belonging. A misty landscape of Gurgaon smiled at me serenely as I drew back the curtains. Walked around aimlessly, still feeling happy. Saw the laptop beckoning me enticingly. Refreshed FaceBook and saw my dear friend Kasturi's status on Mahalaya.

At once my heart jumped. Mahalaya.... I quickly youtubed the  Mahalaya "Yaa Devi...." Ma had switched on every morning at the break of dawn on All India Radio. Ma would be home today!!!!! Even as I said this aloud, I realised I may be sounding weird. Ma has moved on, passed away, and yet every Mahalaya day for the past three years I feel she is back again, descending from the clouds to be with her two daughters. Maybe it is my childish imagination. Maybe it is the remnants of what Ma herself would tell us as we listened in rapt attention to the slokas. That the spirits of the deceased descended down to earth on Mahalaya day and stayed with us till  Diwali. Ma would say that the spirits missed us so much that they would wait for this day to dawn.

Mahalaya has so much of significance. It heralds in the much awaited Durga Puja . It is on this day that the artists of Kumartuli in West Bengal paint the eyes of the Goddess- Chakshudanam.

Mahalaya is when people perform Tarpan on the ghats of the Ganges- an offering to the deceased.

Mahalaya is when Sewli flowers carpet the dew dotted grass and meadows. When children shake the sewli trees in glee and get showered with the coral petals. It is when shopping reaches a frenzied peak. When bonuses are doled out, songs played aloud in market places, the last  poles erected in the magnificent puja pandals.

Mahalaya is when the Goddess Durga starts her journey home with her  offspring.

But for me, Mahalaya will always be when my mother comes back home. To be with us for a while. So what if it is in my imagination.
After all, Mahalaya does mean "Homecoming".


  1. Heartwarming. It indeed is the joy of loved ones coming home that makes one happy. Even though we know they are not there anymore, we can still feel their presence.

    I never performed the Mahalaya puja earlier in my life. Only since I got married I came to know its significance.

  2. Beautiful babi....big hug with moist eyes....brought back memories of my mum
    very well written and straight from the heart
    more love to you....more power to you as well:)