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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

About Kojagari.......about Alpana....



Kojagari is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu Lunar month of Ashwin.......for us, the Bengalis, we worship Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth on this day. Ever year, this day reminds me of my childhood when Grandma'd give me a bowl of rice paste and a small piece of cloth and I'd make patterns on either side of the long corridor. Those patterns or Alpana had such mesmerizing effect on my mind that I could spend the entire day simply drawing those.


One compulsory pattern was Goddess Lakshmi's feet which had to be small, beautiful and facing towards indoor....but most of the time it'd be just the opposite. Years later, my friend who is married to a Bengali told me that the same had happened to her on her first Lakshmi Puja after marriage. Now when I draw tiny feet surrounded by lotus petals I miss those mistakes and laughters thereafter......


As was the ritual...Grandma always made it a point that the vahan or the vehicle of the Goddess must be drawn along with her ornaments and the paddy strands...so drawing the Owl which is the vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi was a challenge which I often failed. Now when I know that the Owl is a symbol of knowledge and rest are of wealth and prosperity, these  ritualistic symbols become clear and meaningful to me.....