Markets illuminated with fairy lights,

Throngs of excited shoppers,

Everything on sale from cloth to homeware,

Occasional bursting of confetti popper.

Long queues in front of beauty salons,

Accessories topping the shopping lists,

A laugh here, a chatter there,

Balcony gossip with all its twists.

Finally, the calendar flips to autumn,

Comes home the goddess with 10 hands,

Her daughters, sons and their mounts,

All carrying their magical wands.

5 days of festivities,

Shashti to Dashmi,

Crowds of smiling faces,

Merging into a colourful sea.

Balloon sellers, coffee vendors, every imaginable food spread,

Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, fortune tellers, and more,

No stall is left untread.

Floating tunes of evergreen numbers,

Evening aarti and chorus chanting,

Khichdi and Rashogolla,

The Dhunuchi dance that lends you wings.

At last, Ma departs to Kailash,

Her return awaited by every girl or boy,

Glimpses of an age-old culture,

That’s Durga Puja in my City of Joy.

 ~Adrija Duttaray

Ms. Adrija Duttaray, Class XI student, Delhi Public School Kalinga.

Theme: The Durga Puja festivities in her hometown Kolkata

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