Tag Archives: Timarpur

Deeply Honored

On 6 October 2019 (Ashtami), Aridip Chatterjee, a young 12th class student, got up to recite a poem in the Poetry Recitation Competition during Timarpur’s 106th Durga Puja festival.

As soon as he began, I got the biggest surprise of my life. He announced that the poem he was going to recite, ‘Staying Afloat,’ was written by “Our Very Own Mrs. Jasbir Chatterjee!”

I felt deeply honoured, humbled, and privileged because rarely ever do poets get their due appreciation while they are still alive…

Click here and see the video…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IB6pKM7qAWk

Thanks Aridip, Our Very Own Goltu (that’s his pet name).

Durga Puja, Timarpur, 2017

In 2017, Dashmi, the last day of Durga Puja, was on 30 September. The mad frenzy of the festival finally ended on this day, saddling me with a bundle of mixed emotions, unlike previous years when the slow onset of sunset on the day of Dashmi seemed to be such a rude anticlimax.

I was happy and relieved because the end of puja meant freedom from the terrible stress of being ‘social.’ With so many old faces getting replaced every year with new ones, the task of befriending new people for its own sake isn’t very easy at my age. Last year, my handbag was stolen from inside the pandal. So, apart from the freedom from tight petticoats and blouses, new sarees with stiff borders biting into my neck, heavy jewellery weighing me down, it also meant freedom from the constant threat of petty thiefs trying to snatch belongings…

And here’s a little secret…On Dashmi, while we were all busy getting things ready for the final puja done by married ladies and the subsequent sindoor khela, an aquaintance said to me with an amused grin, “You have worn your blouse the other way round. Front part, pleats and all are on the back and rear part is on front.”

I blushed and immediately covered up the ready-made blouse with my pallu. But in spite of my acute embarassment, I thought that was funny indeed, as though my breasts decided to sit on the back seat of the classroom!

And I was sad because in spite of all the personal discomfort I underwent during those 5 days of the festival, it was a welcome relief from my fast-paced life. I ate properly and I got better sleep than what I get during working days.

Well, it’s all part of life, I guess. Different phases bring on different emotions…

This year, my daughter, now a 21-year-old grownup girl, managed to have her way and accompanied her Dad, my husband, to the Yamuna river to witness Durga Visarjan, the last part of the festival which many like me find too messy and painful and give a miss.

So this time, I didn’t have much luggage on me on my way home in the evening and I gave myself the luxury of a short, leisurely stroll on the tree-lined Lucknow Road in Timarpur on my way to the Metro station.

While I walked with slow, unhurried steps, my mind ambled along my long 25-year-old memory lane, to that midnight of 18 December 1992 when I had stepped into a Bengali household in Timarpur, dressed as a Punjabi bride…

Here are some photos I clicked during this walk. They are in keeping with the mood I was in at that time…nostalgic, sad, happy, and worried about the future…

Perched on the terrace gracefully like a ballerina…

Sunlight peeping through the trees…

This notice says, “Urination is prohibited here.” It’s meant for humans who behave like dogs.

And then when I reached home…

Approaching dusk…Clicked from terrace at home…in the backdrop of loud sound of crackers from the Ramlila maidan nearby, with Ravana getting burnt to ashes…

Joy Ma Durga! Jai Shri Ram!

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Timarpur Greens

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This year also, we celebrated Durga Puja (19-23 October 2015) in Timarpur. While walking to the pandal and back to the guest house, I took some random shots of the surrounding greenery with my mobile phone. I got amazing results and it gives me great pleasure to share the pics here on my blog. Look at the photo on the top and see how the branches intertwine to form a canopy over people walking below them…

Timarpur is the oldest government residential colony in Delhi. It was established in the pre-independence era. Unlike other government colonies, most of the area remains untouched and undeveloped since it was first established. That’s why it seems to have an old world charm. Most people who live here are either tenants or the original allotees of the government flats.

With lots of wide, open streets, rich greenery, tall trees as old as the colony itself, the place gives you the feel of a fairy tale with all the elements of good and evil. There are, of course, a few patches of slum areas and the usual traffic. But the noise and pollution level seem to be comparatively less and there seems to be a general sense of all-pervasive peace and calmness.

We lived as tenants in Timarpur for 2 years till 1994, but we keep returning to Timarpur every year during Puja. My family members were government servants and were one of the earliest residents of Timarpur who played a prominent role in helping the Puja continue year after year. Our family tradition is still continuing till date and by the grace of Ma Durga, we always manage to find accommodation somehow near the pandal during those 5 days of Puja.  My 19-year-old daughter says that she cannot imagine herself enjoying Durga Puja at any other pandal.  So I guess the tradition will go on in future as well.

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