Nostalgia of Puja Digests ●
I was away on vacation celebrating Durga Puja at my parent’s place in Bhubaneswar. It was 8-9 days of heavy eating, doing-nothing and poor internet connectivity. So mostly reading and that too a variety of stuff (mostly non-technical). Not my intention but then there were so many other culturally significant things happening around that I preferred to channel my energies there rather than all those functional programming books I did pack along with me.
Puja is always special for us Bengalis. Apart from the boring holy stuff, it’s also a time for intellectual rejuvenation. I am a Bengali who has never lived in the state of West Bengal. So I am a probashi (an outsider). But during Puja, I always felt connected to the land and the happenings there.
And the window to that other world was always via those Puja Digests. Till I left for my college and then got lost in the rat-race, I used to look forward to these Puja Digests. They were amazing.
Scroll had an interesting piece on the same just before Puja which I did bookmark then. From the same article:
If you were a child growing up in those decades, there were long afternoons to be filled once school shut for the puja vacations. One of the things you did before you hit the pandals, bought toy guns that went off with a satisfying crack and fell sick eating hajmi goli bought at mela stalls was get your hands on that year’s puja digests. For many Calcuttans of that generation, memories of puja vacations are threaded with adventures and characters from a galaxy far, far away.
Everything above except being in Calcutta applied to me.
Towards the end, authors have written on current state of affairs & also how today’s generation is not that keen on those fat Puja Digests. I think there is immense opportunity for someone taking them online as today’s technology could make the stories more immersive. Moreover, I would love to have those old editions from my childhood resurrected digitally so that people like me could go back to them whenever we want to satiate our nostalgia of those days from our past.