Along with anjali, bhog, pandal hopping and endless adda, Durga Puja stands for one thing – romance. For generations the much-awaited festival of Durga Puja also is a time of falling in love, a time of stolen glances, a time of dressing up for the guy who lives next door.
When it comes to romance it’s still in the air this Durga Puja, only the style of romancing has changed. How? We tell you…
5 Ways Durga Puja romance has changed now
Durga Puja is the time when love stories take shape, when those butterflies swim around in the stomach, when just a look is like a Cupid’s arrow. But how people dress up, how they woo and how they feel about romance have changed. 5 ways romance has changed during Durga Puja.
1. Saree is passé shorts are in
Even a decade back a saree used to be the ideal piece of garment to attract the attention of that particular person at the Puja pandal. You could be sure he would turn up in an elegant kurta to complement your saree. This was that time of the year when ethnic was the thing to flaunt and it did work magic on the young mind.
But this year it’s all about shorts and adventurous hairstyles. Legs matter more than a sensuous peek of skin through the saree. You could have toned legs or the fattest ones, it doesn’t matter, as long as you walk around in shorts and feel attractive in it.
Men have junked the kurta, the focus this time is on the hair. It could be the man bun or the colour blue or golden streaks on a mohawk, no one’s interested in clothes anyway. For men, it’s the hairstyle that’s the scene stealer. It’s that amazing cut she would fall for. He is sure of it, as she is of her pair of denim shorts.
2. Group photos to groupie
If you have been cherishing that Durga Puja photo from 20 years back with your teenage crush standing next to you, clicked in an old Hot Shot Cam then you really need to check out the groupie ops of today.
Most are out carrying their selfie sticks and it’s a groupie in front of every Durga idol. Groupies are a great way to bond these days. You just don’t stand next to each other, you have to be really close to be in the frame (you know what me mean). Groupies are great for romance that way. If you have been shy about asking for a selfie, a groupie can work wonders.
3. Staring is blasé, hook up is cool
Durga Puja was the time when you could stare endlessly at your crush. And if they stared back and there was a hint of a smile in the corner of the lips, it would send that tingle down your spine.
Now there’s a mad rush to find the one before the Puja because hanging out single is “oh-so-not-cool”. You actually try to get her to notice you before the Pujas through online stalking, through Tinder, through college socials and then it’s worth it to be a couple during the five days of Puja. Once the festival is over, the romance is too. This is what you call quick fix Durga Puja romance.
4. No phuchkas, give us Thai
Pandal hopping during Durga Puja meant gorging on Kolkata’s street food like mutton rolls, chowmein, fish chop and phuchka. But that’s so unromantic now, isn’t it? What’s romance without that fine dining experience at a posh restaurant in a city mall? Thai, Japanese, Burmese, Vietnamese cuisine is the in thing and you got to save up for months for this culinary sojourn. That’s acceptable as long as you don’t offer your date a mutton roll. (If you do be ready for a tight slap a la Kabir Singh.)
5. It’s time to binge drink
Just before the Pujas the queues outside liquor shops are longer than the ones in the departmental stores or shopping malls. There’s a mad rush to pick of the bottles and keep it stocked because Puja means binge drinking.
Gone are those days of family get togethers where the aunts would toss up the best Bengali dishes and you would be savouring the homemade lemonade. This was also a great time to introduce your girlfriend or boyfriend to the whole family.
Now it’s all about holing up at a friend’s place and drinking like there is no tomorrow. And there’s no need for introducing the bae to the family, he or she is already friends with the entire clan on Facebook.
When the girl in the shorts, walks hand in hand with the guy in the golden streaks, posing for a selfie in front of a Durga idol, you can’t help but think that change is inevitable. But as long as the blue sky, the cottony clouds and the sound of dhak make the young hearts skip a beat, Durga Puja romance will continue.