New Delhi: It is that time of the year when every Bengali wakes up at 4 am in the morning, tunes into the radio to listen to the recital of Mahisasura Mardini by Birendra Krishna Bhadra on the occasion of Mahalaya. Eight decades after it was first recorded, his reverberating voice still rules the heart of every Bengali. It is not just an important day but an emotion as it ends the year-long wait for Durga Puja, the most important festival celebrated by Bengalis.
Mahalaya officially marks the end of Shradh or Pitru Paksha and marks the beginning of Durga Puja festivities. This year Mahalaya is being observed on September 28. It is believed that goddess Durga arrives on earth on the day of Mahalaya.
The 90-minutes long musical piece was composed in 1931. Scripted by Bani Kumar it is a combination of hymns, devotional Bengali music all rolled into one. It describes the journey of Maa Durga and her triumph over evil. A listener goes through a myriad of emotions while listening to it as Bhadra's sonorous voice brings everything to life.
Here's wishing everyone a Shubho Mahalaya!