I never missed Durgo Pujo before I left India for foreign shores. The first two years in USA were spent in a sleepy college town in Western Massachusetts, the only consolation being the good food cooked by my ex- housemate on Dussehra. I think she even did some puja on the occassion and then proceeded to fill our house with the smells of Yankee Candle Factory candles and that of sugar melting in warm ghee.
The last two years have been really wonderful(due in most part to the multitudes of enthusiastic Bengali's in the greater DC area) and last year we even managed to do some very hectic puja hopping. This year might not be the same, friends have graduated and moved on while others are busy over the weekend. But then isn't that Pujo-Pujo feeling that we feel this time of year just a yearning for togetherness - to reach out to those we love and feel close? I think we will do just fine this year with all those who remain. For my part I have decided to cook some good meals for the Boy and myself over the next five days (tonight's dinner is paneer with peppers, dal and grilled salmon) to keep in mind with the spirit of Pujo's. As if on cue, the Boy just started playing some Robindrosaongeet on the system....gosh even he is feeling it.
So here's wishing a good food, good conversation with good friends and warm fuzzy feelings filled Pujo to you and you and you.