Our member Mr A. Roy was in the Police Force. He hails from a family in Pathai gram who had started with one of the Durga pujas there. He shares the story of their historical Durga Puja which is over 300 years old.
My ancestral house is in Pathai village, Birbhum district, a mile away, towards the west of Gadhadharpur station. From ancient times all descendants of our family have been worshipping Goddess Durga in our village and the same tradition has prevailed till date. This Durga Puja was started by our family – The Roy family and is nearly 300 years old. This puja had started much before the East India Company started ruling India.
Two well known Puja takes place in Pathai gram one is ours the Roy’s and the other is the Mukherjee’s. Mr. Kharaj Mukherjee, a member of the Mukherjee family is a well-known face in Bengali cinema.
Every year no matter where the members of the Roy family are, on 𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘮𝘪 of Durga puja everyone reaches Pathai gram where still our original two-storeyed house exists. We also have a 𝘱𝘢𝘬𝘬𝘢 house constructed but the original one still exists. Those brothers of mine who had stayed back in those villages, made all the necessary arrangements for the puja. Since I am the eldest in the family, so everyone waits for my arrival.
It starts with 𝘬𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘯𝘢𝘯 on 𝘚𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘩𝘪. On 𝘚𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘮𝘪 the entire village comes to have 𝘣𝘩𝘰𝘨 at our house which is definitely vegetarian. On 𝘈𝘴𝘩𝘵𝘢𝘮𝘪 also it is the same. On 𝘕𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘮𝘪 along with 𝘬𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘪 𝘱𝘶𝘫𝘢, till date we sacrifice goats. It might sound brutal but this is still in practice. On Dashami at the end of all rituals, everyone sends off goddess Durga’s idol for immersion and wait for the next year for the arrival of Durga puja.
The essence of this celebration has remained unchanged. It stands as a testament to the unwavering devotion of generations, weaving the threads of history into the fabric of modern times. This ancient 300-year-old Durga Puja continues to be a timeless beacon of unity and devotion, connecting the past, present, and future in a harmonious celebration of culture and spirituality.