Durga Puja 2020: Will Indians wake up at 4 am, tune into radio & listen to 'Mahisasurmardini'?

It is a a ritual that’s as much fun as it’s challenging.

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As a popular prime ministerial Sunday radio show attests, having a fixed time and place (read: channel) to tune in to increases a programme’s listenership.
‘The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.’ Attributed to Albert Einstein, patron saint of space-time, but written by sci-fi writer Ray Cummings in a 1921 story, this is the basis for all itineraries and timetables. From TV schedules and departure-arrival times, to banging of pots and pans during a pandemic, choosing a fixed moment to experience a shared event is a ritual based on practicality.

One such annual ritual since the 1930s has been waking up at 4 am to turn on the radio and listen to the 90-minute programme ‘Mahisasurmardini’ (Slaying of Mahishasur) on the auspicious day of Mahalaya ushering Durga Puja. But what happens in this day and age when one has the luxury of hearing it on YouTube or other ‘non-live’ media any time of the day?

As a popular prime ministerial Sunday radio show attests, having a fixed time and place (read: channel) to tune in to increases a programme’s listenership and brand value. Catching Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s Chandipath (telling of the Goddess Chandi’s adventures) at pre-dawn is, like counting down New Year, fun by itself. So however easily available ‘Mahisasurmardini’ may be across space-time, making it to the Bengali AIR frequency at the wee hours tomorrow remains a ritual that’s as much fun as it’s challenging.


'Kahaani', 'Parineeta', & Other Bollywood Movies That Brought Out The Essence Of Durga Puja
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The nine-days of Navratri (in parts of North India) and Durga Puja (in East India) are celebrated with much fervour. The festivities are marked by delicious food, the fragrance of shiuli flowers, and pandal-hopping.

It is thus inevitable that the festival has made its way to the silver screen over the years. Here's a look at some movies that showcase the grandeur of Durga Puja.

The nine-days of Navratri (in parts of North India) and Durga Puja (in East India) are celebrated with much fervour. The festivities are marked by delicious food, the fragrance of shiuli flowers, a..
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Pradeep Sarkar’s ‘Parineeta’ was an adaptation of Bengali novella by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Starring Vidya Balan (Lolita), Saif Ali Khan (Shekhar) and Sanjay Dutt (Girish) in lead roles, the movie follows the lives of the three characters in 60s Calcutta. The film's Durga Puja scene shows Khan and Dutt perform the traditional dhunuchi dance. A pivotal scene, it marks the beginning of a friendship between Lolita and Shekhar.


(Image: imdb)

Pradeep Sarkar’s ‘Parineeta’ was an adaptation of Bengali novella by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Starring Vidya Balan (Lolita), Saif Ali Khan (Shekhar) and Sanjay Dutt (Girish) in lead roles, the ..
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One of the most rousing depictions of the festival in Bollywood, Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani' is set in Kolkata during Durga Puja. The film tells the story of Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) searching for her missing husband as the city of joy gets ready to celebrate.

The climax of the film, on Vijaya Dashami, draws parallels to the festival's message of victory of good over evil, as Balan defeats her husband's killer.


(Image: imdb)

One of the most rousing depictions of the festival in Bollywood, Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani' is set in Kolkata during Durga Puja. The film tells the story of Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) searching for he..
Read More

Directed by Shoojit Sircar, 'Vicky Donor' shows a Delhi-Punjabi boy Ayushmann Khurana (Vicky) fall in love with a Bengali girl Yami Gautam (Ashima). The two varying cultures are depicted not just in the way their families are, but Sircar also shows the celebration of Pujo by Delhi's Bengali community, as the couple go Pandal-hopping in CR Park.

Directed by Shoojit Sircar, 'Vicky Donor' shows a Delhi-Punjabi boy Ayushmann Khurana (Vicky) fall in love with a Bengali girl Yami Gautam (Ashima). The two varying cultures are depicted not just i..
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An adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Devdas’ follows the lives of Shah Rukh Khan (Devdas), Aishwarya Rai (Paro) and Madhuri Dixit (Chandramukhi) in the Calcutta of landlords and courtesans.

While in the book, Paro and Chandramukhi don't come face-to-face, the movie showcased a bond between the two characters that begins when they meet around Durga Puja. This period marks an important turn of events in the movie, as it is during this time that Paro brings Chandramukhi, a courtesan, to her husband's home and is in turn forbidden from stepping out of the house.

The film's 'Dola re dola’ song, shot with the background of the puja celebrations, that features Rai and Dixit perform went on to become a craze.

(Image: imdb)

An adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Devdas’ follows the lives of Shah Rukh Khan (Devdas), Aishwarya Rai (Paro) and Madhuri Dixit (Chandramukhi) in the Cal..
Read More

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