"You can take the craze of Diwali in Delhi, Christmas in London, Summer carnival in Rio, Valentine's Day in Paris and then add it to the month-long madness of Olympic Games or the World Cup and cram all that in a span of 5 days and you still wouldn't know what you are missing if you haven't been in Kolkata during Durga Pujo"

-Vir Sanghvi

Another 9 days and we shall be witness to yet another year of frenzy and merrymaking as we welcome the Daughter into her maternal home.


For those few days, West Bengal becomes the Land of Alta, Shankha Pola, Sindur, and Red Bindis, not to forget the archetypal Red and White Saris. Bengalis, wherever they may be, in whatever part of the world, are overwhelmed by a rush of memories and associations. They take this opportunity to make it a grand show of the sociocultural melting pot of Bengal and to create a collective cultural identity.


Bengalis have imbibed the tradition of wearing a white sari with a red border. The color red exemplifies the beauty of the Bengali woman. This vibrant color signifies love, passion, happiness, and celebration, which is also a reason why it is preferred in the culture. Meanwhile, white embodies purity and tranquillity, serving as a harmonious counterbalance to the vibrancy of red. ‘Pola’ and ‘Shankha’ bangles are part of the traditional ensemble, along with Sindoor in the parting of their hair, which is a significant part of the Bengali custom. Bengali women wear a big red teep (bindi) at the center of their forehead. They also smear sindoor in a big dot between their brows to resemble the bindi.


Maa Durga, the Bengali beauty in the Durga Puja pandals and the epitome of Shakti, dons the traditional white and red border Bengali sari. Her appearance is characterized by her long, flowing curls, fierce gaze, and a collection of ten formidable weapons, completing her look of ‘Mahishasura Mardini’.


 Red Handloom Pure Katan Silk Banarasi Saree With Kadhwa Border And Meenakari Booti

Red, the hue of life coursing through your veins and the fiery dawn, wields a profound influence on human emotions. In our psyche, colors hold considerable sway, and red, in particular, ignites the most vibrant sensations. It embodies the sheer dynamism and enthusiasm embodied by Devi. Her essence radiates absolute vibrancy and vitality, reminiscent of the vividness associated with the color red. Among the pantheon of deities, it is often the feminine forms that embody the utmost exuberance and vitality.

Handloom Red Pure Katan Silk Banarasi Saree With Meenakari

Bridal attire is traditionally adorned in red, with the red border symbolizing themes of fertility, fidelity, and inherent strength. Red holds significance as the color of menstrual blood and is also associated with sacred elements like Sindoor, and the Alta.

During Dashami, the 10th day of Durga Puja, the brilliance of Sindoor takes center stage, eclipsing all other colors. It's a customary ritual for married women within the Bengali community to exchange warm wishes and festive greetings by playfully applying Sindoor (vermillion) on each other's faces. Women of all age groups, from newlyweds to the elderly, attire themselves in white sarees accentuated by deep red borders and adorned with precious gold jewellery for this special occasion. As they offer vermilion-coated flowers in reverence to Ma Durga, it's a heartfelt farewell to the beloved goddess.


Because it is the 'ether' connecting the usually divided Bengali community across the world, be it in Shanghai or San Jose, Mumbai or Moscow, Delhi or London, Thiruvananthapuram or Cape Town, be they right-wing fundamentalists or leftists, anarchists or Democrats, scientists or artists, eight or eighty!