Bengalis eagerly await Saraswati Puja every year. Well, if you think it is for the ‘Pujo’ and the ‘Prasad’, then you ma’am/sir are very boka. Saraswati Puja is held every year right around Valentine’s Day and we Bongs celebrate this day not just for Maa Saraswati’s blessings but also to celebrate PREM to the fullest. You ask how it’s better than Valentine’s Day? Well …
Saraswati Puja is a time when we all welcome spring. Spring is Bosonto and Bosonto means love. The chilly weather starts defrosting, flowers start blooming, birds start singing and love starts brewing. People even start humming ‘Bosonto Ese Geche’. Anupam Roy was definitely singing about his adolescence when he composed that song.
No Books, Only Love
The first thing that your parents tell you on Saraswati Puja – Ajke boi porte hobe na – No studying today. Imagine that! Well, even the students with upcoming exams are allowed to skip. By surrendering the books at Ma Saraswati’s feet, the youth unlock one brilliant day of mingling with friends and going out with the one girl/boy who makes their heart race.
Decked up Girls and Boys
Be it the girls or the boys, everyone is at their traditional best on this day. Women in beautiful Basanti sarees and men in traditional pajama-panjabis. We Bongs deck up to impress the opposite sex and of course our Premiks and Premikas. Some of the best sights are the young teenagers awkwardly trying to carry off their saree or dhuti but still looking cute as hell.
No Prying Eyes
This day, no one seems to follow your steps or comment on your Shaj-Shajja. Everyone roams around in their own rhythm. The boys don’t have to wait for long hours outside their girlfriend’s tuition classes to say Hi or to hold her hand for a fleeting moment. This day, every Bong pair is free to walk hand in hand lost in their own love stories.
We Bongs don’t need the permission of our parents to stay out on this day, after all it is Saraswati Puja. Be it going to schools and colleges and after that those tuition classes or the lovers’ park, we remain outside for as long as we decide.
We Bengalis save up money for months to spend on this day. And for what you ask? Of course for the Puchkas and the Chaat Papri to impress the damsel in a beautiful BASANTI saree. Although, nowadays it has advanced to movie tickets and visit to amusement parks, the idea remains the same. Save up money, spend it on your beloved and the day has a happy ending.
If you are single, then Saraswati Puja is your annual salvation. Yes, on Saraswati Puja every single Bong’s probability of finding true love skyrockets. If you are lucky, even two to three true loves are not unheard of. My bondhu, you shall not run out of eligible or sundori options on this day.
Best day for the perfect date
Be it the parks, the restaurants, the theatres, the malls, you will find great options to hang out with your loved one on Saraswati Puja. For God’s sake, even the school and tuition places turn a blind eye to the corny couples in the corners. This is the day, when Bong love blooms and PDA is not frowned upon.
Meeting New People
This day, you just don’t hang out in your school or college. This day, you roam like a wild tiger in other schools and colleges. We Bongs meet new people, new faces and obviously, meeting new people means new connections, exchange of WhatsApp contacts, long chats and hopefully love!
A Great Day to finally profess your love
Most of us Bongs make it a point to open up about our feelings to the one we love on Saraswati Puja. Te weather is superb, the ambience is right, the beloved is in a blissful mood, no one is after you to study, so why wait? There goes the proposal and well, pray hard that the answer is a lajuk smile and a heart warming YES!
Saraswati Puja was, is and will be the original Valentine’s Day for us lovelorn Bongs. And if you have anything more to add to the list, feel free to comment. Happy Valentine’s Day! Oops, Happy Saraswati Puja to all.
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