**Bhubaneswar**: The Durga Puja is celebrated across the country since time immemorial. However, above all, Durga Puja is essentially the worship of womanhood and the celebration of the supreme source of power – Maa Durga.
In Bhubaneswar, this festival is marked with devotees thronging puja pandals across the city to offer obeisance to Goddess Durga. The whole city turns into virtually a colourfully illuminated gallery, housing the pandals of Maa Durga and invokes the spirit of joy and merriment.
When OMMCOM NEWS criss-crossed the streets of Bhubaneswar to test the general knowledge of the people regarding this festival and posed very simple questions as to which demon did Maa Durga slay, or when does the ‘Ravana Podi’ take place, the answers rendered were quite surprising.
One young girl decked up in this festive mood answered that Maa Durga slayed Ravana, and another kept wondering as to what would be the answer. Some of the denizens smartly answered it as ‘Mahisasura, the buffalo-demon’.
Another question regarding the Dussehra kept many baffled. When OMMCOM correspondent asked as to when was ‘Ravan Podi’ or the Ravan Dahan observed, to which many just got dumbstruck. One college student very confidently answered that it occurred on Maha Navami, the day before Dussehra. Another man quipped that it was held on the day following the Dussehra when the idols of Goddess Durga were immersed. Saving the day, some people got it right.
The last day (Dasami also known as Vijaya Dasami) also put some youngsters into a fix. They had no idea that it was also called Vijaya Dasami as Maa Durga finally got victory over the evil Mahisasura. And Lord Ram also slew the demon king Ravana on this particular day.
People may have the ‘Google’ for answering their questions, but seldom use it to know the backgraound of their rich culture and diversity.