This year, while leaving for Kailash, Goddess Durga will be leaving the house with a little more happiness than usual. She is supposed to be happy. After all, can a mother be not happy by seeing her child happy! The Supreme Court has given a groundbreaking verdict that homosexuality is no longer a crime. For this reason, the puja this year will be very special to these children of Maa Durga. However, Mom is happy not just because of these children but also because of the changing society. This year, a transgender will get the opportunity to paint the eyes of Maa Durga idol. In Kolkata and Howrah, two organizers have taken such initiatives.
For both Kolkata’s Jodhpur Park Cultural Association and Howrah’s Mandirtola Torpedo Welfare Society, Megh Sayantan Ghosh will be drawing the eyes of Goddess Durga this year. He described this year’s Puja as his best one. When asked about this, Ghosh gladly explains to IE Bangla, “This year, the Pujo is very challenging to me. I have been chosen as a puja’s ambassador, a member for judging pujas and now I will be drawing the eyes of Maa Durga. I am very fortunate for this.” He continued,” Just like Durga is in every woman, she is in every transgender person also. Maa Durga came into existence by merging the strength and blessings of all the other gods. She is very symbolic.”
Is there any preparation going for drawing the eyes of the Mother? Ghosh smiled and replied, “Yes, I’m taking a little bit of preparation. I used to paint during when I was a kid.” Apart from that, the Howrah Mandirtola Torpedo Welfare Society will have another surprise. For a Bengali, Durga Pujo means listening to the beautiful voice of Virendra Krishna Bhadra and his famous song. While the painting of Goddess Durga, the song will be played in the background. Singer Tirtha Biswas will be singing the song keeping in tune with the painting. To this, Biswas said, “I will be singing two songs. The two songs are mainly singing. Subarnarekha nodi sona paye o jdi and tomae hridoy majhere rakhbo chere debo na – I will by sing by combining these songs.”
When it comes to drawing the eyes of Maa Durga, the first name that appears in the mind of organisers are celebrities. How come a transgender has taken their place? In response to this, Jodhpur Park Cultural Association’s Soumyojyoti Sen replied, “Their’s not much awareness on the issue. This is a step taken towards inclusivity so that no one feels left out. There are many misconceptions regarding this and that should be broken. That’s why I have taken this step. This initiative is a message that is not a bribe. Durga Pujo doesn’t differentiate anyone. It’s we who made this. On a similar note, Saurav Bandyopadhyay of the Mandirtola welfare society said, ” Many have not been able to accept them as part of society. To give them that social recognition, and increase the acceptance, we have taken this initiative.”
On 9th October, Ghosh will be drawing the eyes of Maa Durga at the Jodhpur Park Cultural Association. Meanwhile, he will be drawing the goddess eyes at Howrah Mandirtola Torpedo Welfare Society on Tritiya.
(This story first appeared on IE Bangla)