As a photographer (and a foodie), I love the festive season in India. The rich colours, the warm laughter everywhere, the grandeur and oh, the sumptuous arrays of regional cuisines and the guilt free indulgence- all makes for a memorable click. No wonder then that some of my favourite clicks personally, have been from festivals and weddings.
This year, Durga Puja kick started this characteristic indomitable festive spirit, and I for one, am certainly not complaining! The diversity in our country is such that each of the festival is a unique experience to have and Durga Puja, the celebration of goddess Durga’s victory over the evil demon Mahishasura is a splendid introduction to the same. Call it Durgotsava, Sharadotsav or 10 days of faith, hope and celebration, Durga Puja is a festival I rarely miss out on. This year was no different, and I found myself at the pandals for more than just once. However, it was different too in the way this was my first visit to the puja pandals with my wife. Needless to say, I took some selfies.
During these 10 days, Durga puja is more of a feeling for everyone who participates and goes beyond just the religion. The pandals and the crowd inside, everything speaks extravagant, but all in refined taste. I was chatting with some Bengali friends around and realised that mostly the pandals with their magnificent themes are borrowed from legends of Goddess Durga, making it a sight to behold for art lovers.
The goddess herself is a symbol for celebration of women power in all its aspects and the ceremonies during the puja all tie it together fascinatingly. Women dressed in their best, dancing with dhunuchi (earthern pot) and smearing vermillion on the goddess’ idol and each other’s forehead makes for a stunning visual treat. From unveiling the idol’s face to decorating banana tree until the last day when the goddess bids farewell to us all with the immersion, every day, a new ritual takes place and attracts a swarming crowd of families to greet the goddess.
The food is another significant part of this puja and absolutely not to be missed. From signature Bengali dishes to the street food favourite, the food corner of any pandal leaves you only wanting for more.
And of course, internet too, gets its share of Durga Puja fever and I got to see a lot of buzz and contests around. But one that caught my eye in particular is Kurl On’s Kurlotsav Kaptures contest. Why? Because sometimes, simple is the best way to do it. Besides, it involves my love for taking pictures. The contest is very straight forward. Go have fun at the puja pandal close to you. No, really. Now, while having fun at it, take pictures, videos or even time-lapses that capture the moments of celebrations. Post your favourite (you can post multiple entries) on their FB page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1753267614935336/) along with the hashtag #KurlotsavKaptures. That’s all, folks!
The best three entries picked win up to Rs. 10,000 and gift hampers from Kurl On itself while the video category has a separate prize of Rs. 4,000. For the rest, there are lots of special category prizes as well. Oh, and in case you are feeling a little more excitement and want to win a bonus prize, simply ask your friends to check out the page and like your entries. The one with maximum entry wins a special prize of Rs. 3,000. In addition, if you check out the brand website (http://www.kurlon.com/kurlotsav-offer/?utm_source=Blog), the brand is spreading the happiness some more by distributing gifts up to Rs. 11,297 on purchases of mattresses (which tempted me as well until I realised it’s only for Kolkata folks!).
So all in all, you get to win a contest along with awesome freebies by just having fun. And to my surprise, their page (when last checked), actually had some great pictures and concepts posted by the participants. Have you got any favourite from the lot? Or are you rooting for a friend already?