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Sharbani, Kajol celebrate Durga Pooja

   Like each year this year too the Mukherjees had a lavish Durga festival. The custom continues in its 54th year as thousands of Bengalis throng to the Podar School Hall to seek blessing of Durga maa. "This custom was started by my grandfather years ago. Only a few people visited us then. Now of course, a large number of people visit us and it makes my grandfather extremely happy to see their enthusiasm," informed Romu Mukherjee's daughter Sharbani Mukherjee. The idol done up in white embroidered Lucknowi material had been flown down especially from Kolkatta. "This is the typical way Durga maa is made up in Kolkatta. We have tried to create a similar ambience here too," Sharbani smiled.

The surprise of the evening was cousin Kajol. Dressed in a plain yellow salwaar-kameez, she was busy serving food to the guests and giving bear hugs to those who just entered in. "This tradition is to just keep idle minds occupied," she laughed. When we asked her when she was planning to start a family she just coyly replied, "There's still time! It'll just happen I guess!" Kajol warmly insisted that the guests have the Durga puja bhog that was kichdi, bhajis and kheer as prasad. The one not to be seen was Rani Mukherjee. "She is busy shooting," informed her grandfather. "But she has promised to pack up early today. She is expected to be here any moment now," he smiled. But Kajol's and Sharbani's presence more than made up for it.

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