Krishnanagar, Sept. 27: It was a mistake by an artisan while painting made the deity look blue at the Chattopadhyay family in Krishnanagar’s Nazira Para. The incident occurred in Borishal, now in Bangladesh around three hundred years ago. But, the error was never rectified.
As a result for about last 286 years the Goddess Durga is known here as ‘Neel Durga’, as she dons in an unusual blue complexion making a difference altogether.
In Nadia faith blended with legends helped many families to conceptualize the image of Goddess in different ways. However, at the Chattopadhyay family of Ashwini Dutta lane, it was a “Human Error” believed to be wished by the Devi that provided the deity a different look. The error, however, never rectified.
Elderly member of the family Swapnayan Chattopadhyay, a retired bank employee said: “Once while providing color to the clay model of the Goddess Durga, the artisan by mistake painted it in blue color. Our forefather admonished the artisan for carelessness as he spoiled the deity with wrong color. But, on that night Goddess Durga revealed in his dream and instructed to keep the blue color and to arrange her puja”.
“None of our family ever dared to rectify this mistake and the Goddess remained blue forever. We believe that it was ‘Maa’ who actually wished to be looked so and materialized his wish through the artisan. However, later we found a reference in Markandeya Purana, one of the oldest in Purana genre of Hindu literature where Devi has been shown in blue complexion. We have been following this tradition till now”, Chattopadhyay said.
“This is a myth which we came to know through legacy. However, we do not know when this Neel Durga puja was actually started”, said Swapnayan’s Brother Chanchal Chattopadhyay, a senior manager (marketing) of a fertilizer company.
“We only know that our forefathers began the Durga Puja at their home in Bamrai village of Borishal in undivided Bengal. After a very complex calculation taking into account the available records, we have concluded that the puja has turned 286 years in this year. A Khanra’ (sharp weapon) used to sacrifice animal with year mark 1877 has also helped us calculate this” – Chanchal Chattopadhyay
“We only know that our forefathers began the Durga Puja at their home in Bamrai village of Borishal in undivided Bengal. After a very complex calculation taking into account the available records, we have concluded that the puja has turned 286 years in this year. A Khanra’ (sharp weapon) used to sacrifice animal with year mark 1877 has also helped us calculate this”, he added.
“If we have calculated it rightly, the puja was started in our family by Mahim Ranjan Chattopadhyay. However, we could not get it clear since when Maa Durga being worshiped in Blue complexion in our family”, said Tulika Roy, sister of Swapnayan and Chanchal.
“After partition our grandfather Satish Chandra Chattopadhyay came to Krishnanagar from Borishal and began the puja of Neel Durga afresh”, added Tulika.
Since then the puja is being held uninterrupted. This year also there would be no exception as around 80 family members from different places, have already gathered at the Krishnanagar based home.
“The unique feature of the puja is ‘Aansh bhog’, in which the Goddess Durga is offered different types of fish in her lunch. In the evening the Devi is offered ‘Mohon Bhog’ a delicacy prepared with suji and ghee. But, on the Dashami Devi is offered ‘Paanta Vog’, ‘Daaler bora’ a light meal in the lunch added Chanchal.
“Even though it is our family puja, local people, particularly our neighbors gathered at our home to offer puja as they believe that praying before the Neel Durga would materialize their wish”, he added.
Picture by PRANAB DEBNATH