As Puja comes closer, the plans for outing gets chalked out and the list of Thakur dekha (visiting the pavilions to see the idols) with friends and family is finalised every night. Some time is saved by the new couple for their own privacy. Walking down the lanes and the pavilions, hand in hand, to visit the idols, eating phuchka and other fast food on the streets or tender souls are thirsty of. The stealing of glances continues during the worship hours, hiding from thousands of eyes. Few close moments might be experienced during the Pushpanjali when they might stand pretty close to each other, feeling the other person’s gentle body contact. These are sweet memories. Here’s an interesting piece by Subhajit, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
The sunrise of life always seeks adventure. It’s colourful. It’s a time to imagine and daydream of storybook love. The hearts flutter wings like the little nestlings in their first flight. I must confess this curiosity for the adventure called love is a wonderful feeling for the teens. It is really unique and adorable! Especially when such love (infatuation) is glorified, and turns even more special if it has its roots in a festival. Those butterfly glances, the desirous wishes for closeness and touch is intoxicating. A slight touch is like an electric spark. These are some inexplicable feelings that might be cherished and fantasised by a teenager. There are moments created in such love that are always delicious!
You may surely see either a girl or a boy staring at each other for hours (read steal glances) when the professor sings his lullaby. Hardly will you see them peeping and gazing these days. You may rather find the love birds sitting together in close intimacy either beneath a tree or in a corner of a deserted class. However, if there are stolen glances it must be Durga Puja. The carnival would create a new chemistry, a juicy gossip among friends, after the puja vacations. The malls and swanky brand showrooms is a favourite pickup point for new crushes. The youth do not just buy clothes – they shop for love at these places.
Don’t be surprised at the coincidences. More often than not, the lovebirds meet accidentally or just coincidentally, while buying apparels and accessories. They often go with their friends to such places where they could showcase their classy fashion sense. These places are great for an introductory chat (pickup lines) to establish the relationship! Such smart moves boost up the chance to further explore, amidst smiles and sweet talks, each other in the same or different colleges. Often some of these mature into serious relationships, while most others wither away – worth no more than five poems, as the peers say these days!
Lovebirds always seek privacy. Colleges are the safest place with thousands of lonesome locations, where a meeting is best in off time. So shopping for Puja becomes the pivotal point for the beginning of a college crush. As the days pass, the smiles and words become deepen to frequent chats, WhatsApp messages and all talks on the phone or some social media chats or on skype.
As Puja comes closer, the plans for outing get chalked out and the list of Thakur dekha (visiting the pavilions to see the idols) with friends and family is finalised every night. Some time is saved by the new couple for their own privacy. Walking down the lanes and the pavilions, hand in hand, to visit the idols, eating phuchka (a delicious fast food of small puris richly filled with stuffing and sour waters) and other fast food items on the streets or an elaborate cuisine for dinner at a plush restaurant stokes the flames of love that the two tender souls are thirsty of. The stealing of glances continues during the worship hours, hiding from thousands of eyes witnessing the Puja. Few close moments might be experienced during the Pushpanjali (the offering of flowers by the devotees) when they might stand pretty close to each other, feeling the other person’s gentle body contact. These are sweet memories.
If they belong to the same Para (locality) then it would be an enormous opportunity to steal some privacy. Even for the slightest thing, he would knock the doors of his beloved as he would say, “Kakima (Aunt), you are being called to the pandal.” He might hover around her house, as she would peep and they would plan for a long tour in sign language. They would somehow make arrangements for the dhunuchi nach (a special dance form solely for Puja in the beat of Dhak or giant drums) as they would compete with each other, to begin with, and then would swing in unison.
They might seek permission for the Bisorjon (immersion) to pay their last visit to the Goddess, which is another excuse for being together. Puja is replete with crushes and loves – igniting sparks in a game of love for the youth.
If love is a sweet sin then it is the teenage when sweetest of sins are experienced. This is a time when teenagers learn to browbeat, make excuses and lots more, all for the sake of love. Some of the young couples are courageous enough to be more adventurous. The festivals are the times when strict rules of moralities are relaxed. The teens wait for this freedom.
The story is almost similar in the case of the adolescent students. They spend most of their times under the watchful eyes of hawks. But they too manage to find their partners – call it calf love. These crushes enrich the youth – often creative juices flow in the form of poems. Some take to painting, while few others hit it out in music classes. Theatre rehearsals are another breeding ground for teenage love. Boys and girls go ‘fishing’ for partners at such occasions. They often find a friendly boudi (sister in law) or kakima, who aids and abets these love affairs. Often the destinations for lovers during the festivals change from shopping malls to coffee houses and tuition classes. Interesting are the excuses:
“Baba, we have a project work that has to be submitted before Puja vacations. Few of my friends and I are going to meet at the nearby library for studying. May I go?”
If the parents are strict then the girl would have to nag for some time in order to make her point clear about the necessity of studies. The elders would be pleased about her ‘seriousness’. During Puja or any other festival, the excuse is tweaked a bit. “My friend has invited me to her house for the prayers. She will drop me back home in her car. May I go?” The first crush is always very special. It hardly lasts. But, such crushes have their role in growing up. It somehow trains us to deal with heartbreaks. Puja is endearing for the young. It’s a garden of roses for them.
Pix from Net.
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