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Purbasha, a cultural organization for Bengalis in the Atlanta and adjoining areas celebrated Saraswati Puja at the Singleton Activity Center on Feb 12. Mata Saraswati stood tall - looking over the devotees, who surrounded the priest chanting hymns and extending offerings to the deity. The flickering earthen candles, the divine hymns and the wafting fragrance of the exotic incense imparted a transcendental mien to the ambience. As if struck by a surprisingly fond yet nostalgic awe, many of us flew back to our own childhood days, and came back with a feeling of happiness that filled our hearts to the brim.
The heavenly concoction of ripe banana, mashed with soaked rice and grated coconut; sweetmeats of all different kinds and a potpourri of mixed fruits was the first gastronomic treat that was served after the prayers. And realizing that it just honed our appetite, the traditional lunch, complete with legume porridge, batter fried vegetables with chutneys followed a quick trail.
Then there were songs, recitations and dances of the little brigade. Kids paraded in fancy attires, while everyone cheered. Prizes recognized the winners of the sit-in drawing competition of the morning and continued thereafter with the participants of the gala hour.