Durga Puja is held in many bonedi households in Serampore of which Dey Bari in Dey Street is one of the oldest. This year I paid a visit there in the afternoon and came to know that Durga Puja started way back in 1748 A.D by Ram Chandra Dey.
The protima is built in the massive thakurdalan. On the day of Sasthi the ladies of the household welcome the goddess. As the household deity of the Dey family is Sridhar Jiu, the puja is held following the Baisnab rituals, and, as such there is no balidaan or sacrifice. Sridhar Jiu is worshipped daily and during the days of the puja it is brought to the thakurdalan and worshipped with Maa Durga. The massive columns with stucco works remind us of the bygone days.
Kumari Puja and Dhuno porano are held on the day of Astami. One striking thing associated with this puja is about puspanjali on the day of Nabami. On that day only married couples of the family can offer floral offerings though there is no such restriction about puspanjali on the other days of the puja. Another unique feature of this puja is that whatever is offered to the goddess is prepared in the household and not brought from outside.
I was told by Shri Prabir Kumar Dey, family member that during the time of Danish rule in Serampore a few Danish officers visited this thakurdalan during the time of Durga Puja. Even William Carey paid a visit here.
On the day of Dasami after the end of the puja, the idol was taken to the courtyard from the dalan and baran is done by all the womenfolk. Previously the idol was taken to the ghat on shoulders for bisarjan; but presently trolley is used for immersion.
Date of posting: 13th October, 2021.