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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bijoya Dashami : Thousands Bengali bid farewell to Maa Durga

Kolkata, 17 October : To the strains of 'asche bachar abar hobe' (Once again, next year), thousands of people across the Bengal bade farewell to Goddess Durga today at the end of her four-day sojourn on earth.
It is Mahadashami, the final day of Durga Puja, and the goddess will go back to 'Kailash' once again. This year rain has continuously disrupted the mood of festivity and joy and Mahanavami was no exception.
The famous pujas in Kolkata like 'Suruchi Sangha', 'Shiv Mandir Durga Puja', 'Mohd. Ali Park', 'Bagbazar Sarbojonin Durga Puja', 'Mudiali Club Durga Puja', 'Barisha Club', continued to attract more and more devotees on the night of Mahanavami as well. People hopped pandals with umbrellas in their hands and by the evening the most popular puja 'pandals' were buzzing with devotees.On Mahadashami, the people are hoping for a dry day so that they can bid farewell to the goddess hassle-free.

The fifth day-Mahadashami- formally starts with special pujas, yagna and maha arti, followed by darpan bisarjan (ritually bidding adieu to Goddess Durga and her four children-Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesha; although idol-immersion started in the afternoon). The rituals rounds off with Aparajita Puja (special worship for eternal victory). As the day graduates, women crowd at the marquees (pandals) across the city to bid farewell to the Goddess and her four children with vermillion and sweets. Sindoor Khela or (Smearing of Vermilion) mark the day when women folk smeared each other with red vermilion.
After this, starts the frenzied immersion ceremony. Long processions with drums and trumpets are taken out through various cities of West Bengal and finally reaching various banks of river Ganga or other rivers where the idols are immersed.After the immersion ceremony is over, people start wishing each other 'Shubho Bijoya', a custom followed by the Bengalis all over the world. Photos : AFP, Reuters

Bangladesh seal 4-0 clean sweep against New Zealanders
BBC News, Dhaka, 17 October : Bangladesh completed a clean sweep over New Zealand with a three-run win in the final one-day international at Mirpur.
They took the series 4-0 - with one match washed out by rain - when Rubel Hossain, who claimed 4-25, bowled Kyle Mills (33) with three balls remaining. The home side had posted a modest total of 174 as Mills and skipper Daniel Vettori took three wickets each. But the Kiwis slumped to 20-5 in reply and a stand of 86 between Grant Elliott (59) and Vettori (43) was not enough.
When Elliott departed in the 44th over, caught by Rubel after attempting to sweep a ball from Suhrawadi Shuvo, the onus was on Mills to try and guide his side to a consolation victory. Photos : Reuters READ FULL STORY

Major fire in firecracker factory claims 3 lives in Kolaghat
Kolaghat, 17 October : Three persons died and several villagers injured as a major fire broke out in an illegal fireworks factory at Kolaghat town in East Midnapore district on Sunday.
The inferno occurred when the huge stockpile of crackers caught fire. Other investigative details were awaited till the time of filing this report. The firecrackers caused such a huge explosion that the roof of the factory was blown off. Soon, the fire spread to other settlements in the neighbourhood and led to many locals inhabiting these getting injured due to fire.
Secularism is a must for building prosperous Bangladesh
BSS, Dhaka, 17 October : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman today said upholding secularism is a must for building a prosperous Bangladesh.
"Secularism doesn't mean absence of religion," he said while speaking to journalists during hosting a reception for the members of the Hindu community at Bangabhaban, marking their largest religious festival- Durga Puja. The President said Bangladesh is a secular country where people from all religions and creeds can perform their respective rituals peacefully with due festive mood in a brotherly atmosphere.
Noting that Durga Puja is one of the most ancient festivals of the country, the President said people from all walks of life celebrate the festival since long. Zillur Rahman said members of the Hindu community have celebrated the Durga Puja across the country in a very peaceful and cheerful manner this year which is a success of the present government. Photo : BSS

Kamakhya temple's animal sacrifice draws protest in Assam
PTI, Guwahati, 17 October : Animal sacrifice in the world famous Kamakhya temple and other puja pandals on the occasion of Durga Puja may be a common practice, but prominent citizens and NGOs here have protested against such ritual.
Demanding a ban on such practices, the NGO, People for Animal, said there was no such concept of sacrificing animals in the name of gods and goddesses. "There are many temples across the country where 'bali' (sacrifice) is performed but there is no such concept of sacrificing any animal or bird in the name of god in Hinduism," People for Animal Assam unit chairperson Sangeeta Goswami said.
Bangladeshi director Abu's film focuses on Eklavya's story
PTI, New Delhi, 17 October : What has the Eklavya-Dronacharya story from the Mahabharata got to do with a Santhal tribal village in a remote mountain of Bangladesh in modern times?
Well, a lot, as critically-acclaimed Bangladeshi director Abu Sayeed finds out in his award-winning feature film 'Rupantar' (Transformation) to be shown in the Third Eye Film Festival in Mumbai later this month. The film, the sole entry chosen from Bangladesh, will be screened in the "Spectrum" section of the Festival.
"Rupantar", Sayeed's fourth feature film after 'Nirontor', 'Sankhanad' and 'Banshi' follows film-in-a-film genre to transport the story of Dronacharya and his backward caste disciple Eklavya to a modern setting among the Santhals in Bangladesh.
Young filmmaker Arif played by Ferdaus, who is familiar with Tollywood films goes to a Santhal village to make a film titled "Gurudakkhina," based on the tragedy of Eklavya trying to view Eklavya's sacrifice for his guru in the contemporary perspective.
As Arif and his crew go for outdoor shooting in the Santhal village, the director, while shooting a scene of Ekalavya's archery practice, is surprised when locals tell him that as per the Santhal tradition, the thumb is useless in archery. The Santhals use the index and the middle fingers instead. Arif has always known that Dronacharya wanted Ekalavya to sacrifice the latter's thumb, considered essential in archery, as his 'gurudakkhina'. Arif makes major changes in the plot of his film and even changes the title of the film to "Rupantar."
Sayeed, who had won an award at the Rotterdam Film Festival 2007 for the script of this film, has right from his childhood been fascinated by the Eklavya story and wanted to make a film on the subject ever since he took to direction.
Impressive performances by veteran TV and film actor of Bangladesh Jayanta Chattopadhyay, Ferdaus Shakiba and Santal actor Jatem Tudu have helped Sayeed put together the film.