For the last few years Durga Puja for me and my hubby has been synonymous to Spandan. And for people who doesn't know, Spandan is a sociocultural organisation based in Powai, Mumbai. Though a major percentage of its members are Bengalis, yet it will be unfair to call it a Bengali Association, for it embraces with love, people with different beliefs, castes and creeds. The organisation is associated with many social and cultural activities and celebrating Durga Puja is one of the major ones.
But the festivities at Spandan, besides being a compendium of colourful sarees, ethnic sagas and beguiling jewellery, it is a festival with a purpose. A purpose that outshines the glitz and glam quotient and the nutation of god fearing heads in front of the enormity of the goddess. Every year there is a different cause, this year we tried to hand hold children, orphaned, by adversities of life. Very thoughtfully the cause was named as "Amritasya Putra". A great cause indeed, when you strive hard to fetch smile, on innocent faces! What can be a better way to pay homage to the mother of creations? The idol, which was crafted by celebrated 'Murtikar' Dipankar Pal of Kumortuli, Kolkata and the unsung tenor of the pandal resonated the theme.
And then there is togetherness, kinship, friendship and more. Every morning the enormity of rituals, is followed by 'bhog' distribution, wherein everyone who comes to visit, is offered delicious lunch. Behind the enlightenment of the lightened 'diyas', the triumph of the conch shells and the insistent 'ulu dhwani', there is immense hard work, and the never dying spirit of Spandanites.