Uttara this time of the year, especially the third phase area, is a pleasant sight. White 'kashphul' or kans grass as it is called in English, just take over the vacant fields, and its invasive nature makes for dazzling white fluff.
They are my very own 'wish flower' — the winged seeds of kans tossing around in the air will give you plenty of opportunity to wish upon them. When I was a child I was told these are from the lady residing on the moon, and thus began my fascination with Sarat or autumn!
This is one of my favourite seasons — the expansive fields of the 'kashphul'; their gentle swaying in the autumn breeze; the beautiful azure sky speckled with cottony clouds turning into a kaleidoscope of pink, orange and gold during sunset — makes me wistful and dreamy. And if I hear a train whistle I am automatically transported to the scenes of 'Pather Panchali.'
But there is more to Sarat than scenic landscapes and seasonal romance. There is the strong spiritual vigour that spreads throughout Bengal like fiery wildfire as the Goddess Durga comes to her father's mortal abode. Her visit, accompanied by the children, is short, yet the presence of this divine power is felt not only within the Hindu community but also amongst the Muslims, the Christians, and the Buddhists in Bengal.
This is Durga puja for me — besides of course the mandatory mandap hopping, the 'prasad tasting', the nibbling of vegetarian delights, losing myself to the colour and cacophony of the 'dhaks.' And of course, kashphul!
If you are a romantic at heart, go to the by-lanes of Shakhari Bazar, Eskon Mandir for a vegetarian lunch, and Uttara for 'kash' this puja, and feel the divine as Mother Durga sets foot on the ground.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Make-up: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon