For last several years, we are going to Jamshedpur during Durga Puja on the day of Maha Ashtami to celebrate the Puja there for the remaining days and return to Ranchi on the day of Vijaya Dashami. This year also we planned the same.
We were in Ranchi for Durga Shashthi and Maha Saptami. We are involved mainly in the Maitraee Club puja in North Office Para, Doranda. During our earlier stint in Ranchi from 1997 to 2001, we were staying in North Office Para and were involved in this Puja. On my transfer back to Ranchi from Jamshedpur in 2005, we are staying in Bariatu. Although it’s quite a distance between Bariatu and North Office Para, we revived and maintained our connection with Maitraee Club.
Babai came home on October 10, the day of Shashthi in the afternoon. Jaya, Baba and I went to the airport to receive Babai. Due to some re-scheduling of flight timings, Babai’s flight came 35 minutes beyond the earlier declared time. We received Babai at the airport. It’s our family re-union after a long time and hence the most pleasurable moment for three of us.
In the evening, we went to Maitraee Club. There were some games being organized by the club. Jaya and I both won a prize each. Babai tied up with his old school friends for the Maha Saptami day to spend time with them.
We had Prasad & bhog there at the club. Today’s main bhog was sponsored by us. After having Bhog Jaya stayed back there for preparation of the cultural programme. I returned back home and came back in the evening with Baba & Babai. The club members presented a good cultural programme. After the programme, we went to Mecon’s colony Shyamali for seeing the pandal, decorations and pratima besides having our dinner. It was almost midnight then. We returned home after having dinner there.
In the morning of October 12, we left for Jamshedpur. So far, the Puja days were good, but there’s a weather forecast of heavy rains and strong winds from the evening of Maha Ashtami as the Cyclone Phailin was scheduled to hit the Indian shores near Gopalpur. It’s a 4-category storm and hence a huge one. The sky was overcast from the morning. We reached Swarn Vihar, Sonari in Jamshedpur, where we participate in the puja.
Mukherji da and boudi kept the Maha Ashtami bhog for us. We went to their house and had the privilege of the bhog. They are very nice and sweet couple. They love us a lot.
This time the Sandhi Puja was in the afternoon. So after bhog, we returned to the puja pandal for the Sandhi puja. After witnessing the puja and having the prasad, we went to our hotel – The Sonnet in Bistupur. It had started drizzling by then. We took some rest and then got dressed up for the evening and went to Swarn Vihar again for the cultural programme. Mukherji da participated in a comic play.
Rain is continuing in the evening. We dared out to see the pratima, pandals of CH Area and Aambagan in Sakchi.
Some boys were dancing to the tune of dhak at Aambagan pandal.
We also had some foods in the stalls in CH Area and ice candies in Sakchi despite the rains! We returned to the hotel. It rained heavily in the night.
We reached the Swarn Vihar puja pandal on the day of Maha Navami to find the place flooded. It’s raining then also. We offered Pushpanjali. Efforts were made to drain out the water. After the puja of Navami, Babai & I joined in the homa. Then we had bhog. Due to rains, we returned to hotel.
In the evening, we went to Swarn Vihar again for the cultural programme and the dinner arranged by them. Because of heavy rains, we could not go out and also Baba is scared of rains. We returned to hotel in the night.
On Vijaya Dashami, October 14 we found that many low lying places were flooded. Swarnarekha & Kharkai rivers were swollen.
In the morning of Vijaya Dashami, Babai and others danced to the tune of Dhak on the stage.
After the protima baran and sindur khela, we returned to Ranchi after having lunch there.
We stopped for a cup of tea at a roadside motel near Deori temple. It was raining then. The fury of the cyclone was felt more in Ranchi with many trees and electric poles uprooted. The power supply was stopped for almost two days to preempt accidents. The power was resumed in Ranchi just before we reached Ranchi. Thank God!
The traditional vijaya sammelan at Maitraee club was postponed due to inclement weather conditions. With the grace of the Goddess Durga, we enjoyed the puja a lot despite such an inclement weather. It was primarily because three of us were together.