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  • Celebrates Durga Puja 2014


      WELCOME As this year’s president I would like to thank all the present and past members, volunteers, patrons, Wacarts and most of all participants without whose support and cooperation this celebration would not be possible. Wishing you all the best for the Puja. Dr. Nirendranath Dutta, FRCOG, President of London Durga Puja Dusserah Association CHARITY STATUS AND GIFT AID DONATIONS The London Durga Puja Dusserah Association is a fully registered UK charity. We are a fully transparent organisation with a written constitution. Our continued success is entirely dependent on the goodwill of and donations by our visitors. The UK government operates a scheme called Gift aid for charities that enable us to claim the basic rate tax on every pound donated by individuals who pay UK tax. All you have to do is fill out a Gift Aid form. This provides us with the minimum information required for us to be able to claim Gift Aid on a donation. Please ensure that all the information asked for on the form has been filled out correctly – this is important for us in order to make a valid claim. Satyen Barua Chairman of Trustees

    London Durga Puja Dusserah Association

    Requests the pleasure of your company to celebrate


    On Tuesday 23rd October 2014 (from 6pm to 9:30pm)

    At Hampstead Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QP

    For further information contact Mrs Ruby Bunker on 0207 794 7345 or 0777 594 4120


      TRUSTEES   TRUSTEES: Mr. Satyen Barua, Mrs. Ruby Bunker, Dr. Nirode Bhadra, Mr. Swagata Ganguly, Mr. Nemai Ghosh-Chowdhury, Mrs. Chandana Sanyal   CHAIRMAN OF THE TRUSTEES: Mr. Satyen Barua PATRONS: S.M. Gourisaria, Nirmal Sethia   PUJA COMMITTEE   PRESIDENT: Dr. Niren Dutta SECRETARY: Chandana Sanyal, Swagata Ganguly TREASURER: Ruby Bunker CULTURAL SECRETARY: Sangeeta Datta, Paulami Ganguly BROCHURE EDITOR AND WEBSITE DESIGN: Nupur Ganguly PRIEST: Pandit Padmaker Mishra PUJA SECRETARY: Neela Ghosh-Chowdhury FOOD SECRETARY: Ajoy Ball, Sagar Barua AUDITOR: B P Bhattacharya   SUPPORTERS AND VOLUNTEERS   Dr. Reena Ball, Rita Ball, Alpona Banerjee, Dhruba Banerjee, Nilanjana Banerjee, Pradeep Banerjee, Mahua Banerjee, Balaji Banerjee, Mukulika Banerjee, Sasanka Banerjee, Leena Banerjee, Jolly Barua, Shyamal Bakshi, Shubham Basu, Arindam Bhattacharya, Sitesh Bhattacharya, Susmita Bhattacharya, Hashi Bhattacharya, Ipshita Bhattacharya, Debi Bose, Jayanta Bose, Kingshuk Bose, Birbhusan Chakrabarti, Amita Chakravorty, Arup Chakravorty, Suparna Chakravorty, Dr. Bijoy Chakravorty, Dr. Pratibha Chakravorty, Subrata Chowdhury, Mitali Choudhury, Dr. Shibnath Choudhury, Ishaan Choudhury, Dr. Ranan Dasgupta, Soumilya Datta, Souvid Datta, Soumik Datta, Ratan Das, Pijush Dasgupta, Pritha Dutta, Satyen Dutta, Ronny Dey-Hazra, Emily Dey Hazra, A Dey-Hazra, Anju Dey Hazra, Leena Dhingra, Sunit Ghatak, Neeta Ghosh-Chowdhury, Nina Ghosh-Chowdhury, Kaushiki Ghosh, Tathagata Ghosh, Ravi Gupta, Anindita Gupta, Shyam Jagpal, Putul Kar, Nilavra Mukherjee, Angshuman Mukherjee, Anjana Mukherjee, Rani Mukhopadhyay, Anirban Nandy, Hiten Patel, Sisir Roy, Tanya Sanyal, Neil Sanyal, Dilip Sinha, Satyaban Sarkar, Priyanka Sarkar, Soma Sarkar, Indranil Sircar, Dr. Piyal Sen, Rana Roy, Anju Roy, Shalini Sharma, Anita Sinha, Sujit Sil   ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS   Sunil Taylor (Event Manager, Wac Arts), Mira Kaushik (Director, Akademi)

  • MYTHOLOGY OF DURGA PUJA   According to Hindu mythology a demon named Mahishasura, earned the favour of Lord Shiva after a long penance. Lord Shiva blessed him with a boon that no man or deity would be able to kill him. Arrogant Mahishasura started his reign of terror. He even attacked the abode of the gods and conquered the heavens.   The Defeat Of The Gods: After their humiliating defeat by Mahishasura, the gods turned to the Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva for help. Pure energy blazed forth from the Trinity and the divine ‘shakti’ – the Goddess Durga took form.   Culmination Of Energies: Durga’s face reflected the light of Shiva, her ten arms were from Lord Vishnu, her feet were from Lord Brahma, her tresses were formed from the light of Yama, the God of Death and her breasts were formed from the light of Somanath, the Moon God, her waist from the light of Indra, the King of Gods, her legs and thighs from the light of Varun, the God of Oceans and hips from the light of Bhoodev (Earth), her toes from the light of Surya, the Sun God, her fingers from the light of the Vasus, the children of Goddess river Ganga and nose from the light of Kuber, the keeper of wealth for the Gods. Her teeth were formed from the light of Prajapati, the Lord of creatures, the Triad of her eyes was born from the light of Agni, the Fire God, her eyebrows from the two Sandhyas, sunrise and sunset, her ears from the light of Vayu, the God of Wind. Thus from the energy of the gods, was formed the Goddess Durga.  The Power Of Weapons: The gods then gifted the goddess with their weapons and other divine objects to help her in her battle with the demon, Mahishasura. Lord Shiva gave her a trident while Lord Vishnu gave her a disc. Varuna gave her a conch and noose, and Agni gave her a spear. From Vayu, she received arrows. Indra gave her a thunderbolt, and the gift from his white-skinned elephant Airavata was a bell. From Yama, she received a sword and shield and from Vishwakarma (the God of Architecture), an axe and armour. The God of Mountains, Himavat gifted her with jewels and a lion to ride on.   The beautiful Durga bedecked in jewels and golden armour and equipped with the fearsome weaponry of the gods, engaged in a fierce battle with the demon Mahishasura and after a long and bloody fight, vanquished him, ridding the world of evil. This defeat of good over evil is celebrated to this day. By: Vrinda Mahtani, Age 9.

  • DURGA PUJA   Durga Puja is the time of the year when we celebrate Ma Durga’s return to her mortal family. She makes this visit once a year with her godly family, which is made up of her four children and who are all important gods! The story that I have been told is that Ma Durga battled the evil demon Asura. She slays him whilst riding a lion and the evil Asura is hiding in the form of a bull. Basically, the good triumphs over the evil.   Although the Ma Durga story is interesting, I enjoy the Puja’s because I meet friends, eat sweets and mishti as well as run around and play bull dog. The week long celebrations begin with my mother and her friends decorating the hall so that it looks festive and pretty for Ma Durga. My sister and I sometimes help her. During the week we come to Puja’s after school. I also help during lunch and dinner times by handing out cups, food and dessert. We also do Onjoli and Aaroti, both prayer offerings to the Ma Durga. Sometimes I ring the bell (ghonti) but the queue is endless!   So Durga Puja is a fun filled festival and its all a bit disappointing when Ma Durga leaves but we look forward to her return the following year. But, hey, we still have Diwali to look forward to, which always starts and ends with a BANG (quite literally).   Nir Bhattacharjee, Age 10 “Ma Durga” by Mira Bhattacharjee, Age 8

  • “PUJA GALLERY’S FADED STAR” by Satyen Barua

    After a long illness on 4th January 2014, Manab Majumdar, widely known as Kabul, passed away. Kabul was a junior member amongst the galaxy of Bengali stalwarts who started this Puja.   In the 1960's, Soumen Dutta (Mana-Da) approached journalist Biswanath Mukherjee (London correspondent of Jugantar and Amrita Bazaar) who in turn persuaded news baron and owner Tushar Kanti Ghosh to send a Durga Pratima to London. For many Years, Belsize Park Puja was the only Puja in London.  Bengalis from Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and beyond used to come to Hampstead Town Hall. Big stars like Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee and Raj Kapoor came to this Puja. Nabi (and his brother Babi) performed the puja for many years. In the mid-sixties, the love of both cricket and puja brought me in close contact with Kabul. We became good friends. For many years, in the early morning of the first day of puja, and after a big breakfast cooked by him, Kabul and I would go to the Old Covent Garden Market to buy all the flowers and vegetables for Puja. We used to go to Lords often too, sitting on the ground, beyond the boundary rope watching cricket.   Kabul was also attached with the Tagore Centre, India Weekly, India League, BBC Bengali section, and became a cricket commentator, both on TV and radio. He was himself a member of the Indian Journalists Association and proud father of the India correspondent for BBC News, Sanjoy Majumdar. He was the cousin of the great Bengali lyricist Gouri Prasanna Majumdar. Together Kabul and I took singer Shyamal Mitra around London and to Birmingham for many singing assignments. Last New Year’s Eve (31st December 2013), he wished me and my family a Happy New Year. On that fateful night I never dreamt that would be his final words to me.   My heartfelt condolences go out to his son, Sanjoy, daughter in law Vaishali, grandson Vivaan and close relatives Alok, Chandana Tanya and Neil Sanyal. We console ourselves that he has joined the galaxy of good friends, the faded portraits of our Puja gallery who s