Kolkata: As Birendra Krishna Bhadra started reciting shlokas welcoming Devi Durga early morning on Wednesday, thousands of people tuned in to All India Air (AIR) for a 77-year-old tradition.
Mahalaya marks the beginning of goddess Durga's journey from Mt Kailash, and since 1930 AIR has broadcast Chandi Paths each festival. Bhadra began reciting shlokas at 4 am—not too early for Keshab Chandra Sen and his wife, Rekha. The couple hasn’t missed a single Chandi Path for the last 60 years on AIR.
“I can't express the happiness within when I hear the Mahalaya on radio. I haven't missed a single programme,” says Keshab Chandra.
“Ma Durga not only destroys evil but forgives the evil-doers too. Her arrival brings happiness everywhere,” says Rekha. Mahalaya is also the day of remembrance during which people gather on the banks of the Ganga at sunrise and offer prayers in memory of their forefathers.
“This is the day I come to pay homage to my parents and forefathers. The enthusiasm is evident,” says Tapas Ray, a Kolkata resident.