Bengali women are sweetly dominating-Kajol
Kajol speaks about her Bengali connection on Saptami
Priya Gupta (BOMBAY TIMES; October 21, 2012)
What are your childhood memories associated with Durga puja?
As kids, it was a time when there was no routine, we used to stay up till late night or wake up early morning and go for anjali, nobody paid attention to us. We ate as much bhajas as we could. Since I was two years old, I used to serve the bhog though at that time we were only given bhajas to serve and not the dal as it could drop on us. My grandmother started this Durga puja in Juhu about 60 years back and she insisted that everyone come down for it so it was a time when my entire family came together, including distant relatives from Kolkata. After my grandmother, my dad continued to organize it with all his brothers. It was a tradition to have a Bengali play every night. It was like a wedding taking place every year where everybody used to just talk and talk and fights would break out and then they would make up and each one would have a view on how it could be organised better.
Is this a time when you miss your father more?
He was a part of my identity and I could not see my life without him. I miss him every day of my life. After I lost him, I felt there was a big hole inside me and I continue to always feel unbalanced. I miss him more during puja. First year I did not attend the puja as I could not go to the place that was so vividly reminding me of him.
What was your dad (Shomu Mukherjee) like?
My dad was the most intelligent person, was gregarious, loved giving parties and had friends over every night. He loved his fish and rice, especially the one made by my mom. He was a wonderful man, very stubborn over his health, though. He was one of the best story-tellers. He used to tell us stories dramatically with all the sound effects possible. He would dream these stories and come in the middle of the night and tell you half the story and then tell you that he needed to go back to sleep to see the rest of the film and would come back to tell us the rest of the story. And he loved me amazingly and always thought I looked liked his mother. He did not give that much time to Titch (Tanisha) but I was his favourite over everybody.
Both your mother and your husband are not Bengalis. Do they participate in the festival?
My mother is a Maharashtrian, but speaks better Bengali than the Bengalis themselves. Except for a few years in the middle when my mother stopped coming for puja, she has always attended Durga puja with us. In fact my paternal side of the family wait for my mother to come and say Tanuji kothai? Ajay has just been working throughout these years and has not had that kind of time but he goes once during the puja and takes darshan of Ma.
What are the Bengali things that are your favourite?
I am typically Bong in my sweet habits. I love Gojas that my aunt makes, Mishti Doi and Patali Gud from a specific place in Kolkata. Every year I get 5 kgs of the Patali Gud and keep it in my fridge through the year.
Bengali women are perceived to be dominating? What do you feel?
They are the most sweetly dominating women. They always get their way and Bengali men are really happy with that.
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