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Aagomoni (Home coming)

Indian consciousness views gods and goddesses in the image of their family members. They are endowed with all the human emotions, pain, love jealousy, anguish, hatred and the rest. Even the prayers may be offered in derogatory expressions, akin to what we often do while coddling our most loved ones.

Bhagawati Durga is the housewife of the cremation-ground dwelling, beggar and ganja addict Shiva. Her father is Himalaya, the king of mountains,. She comes to her mother’ home for three days each year in the month of Ashwin, during autumn season. Such legends are scattered over copiously in different regional folk literatures.

A great devotee poet Ramaprasad Sen addresses mother goddess Durga in following words when she comes to father’s home, “ Mother, how did you get this valuable jewellery? Does your cremation ground dweller and beggar husband breaks into homes with his trident and burgle? Why have you not cared to put on a banyan on your sons, they are bare bodied? Are they sons of your co-wife?

People in East India believe that Uma visits her father Giriraj Himalaya’s home once in a year for four days from Kailas, the abode of her husband. Her homecoming takes place on the SAPTAMI and she is seen off on the DASHAMI. These four days are filled with spiritual ecstasy as well as of emotional mirth and get togetherness

The whole ambience is condensed in a string of folk songs christened Aagomoni or home coming

As the blossoming of White cass and shiuli (Nyctanthes) flowers in the wilderness herald the arrival of autumn . Mayana, the wife of mountain king Himalaya gets restless for her daughter Uma. She implores upon her husband, “ A whole year has passed. I feel anxious for my daughter. How she is coping with that cremation ground dweller beggar husband Mahadv living among ghosts? What sort of father you are? Please go immediately and bring her back with you. Now I will not allow her to go back? I will make Bholanath our live-in son in law.

With the departure of the mountain king for Kailas, the city reverberates with expectations. She calls upon the citizenry, “Citizens, raise welcome arches, launch auspicious pots. Uma is coming.”

And Uma arrives on the SAPTAMI mother gets ecstatic. Addressing “Oh maa Oh maa’, she embraces Uma. Citizens sing loving songs in chorus. The whole city celebrates.

The ASHTAMI is filled with celebrations, joy and mirth. There is no anguish, no affliction, no problem. Mother has come. The whole ambience is chattering, Songs and music are reverberating in the surroundings.

As Ashtami night progresses, NAVAMI knocks, Mayana gets terrified with apprehension, “Uma will go away tomorrow.” She prays to time-god, May the navami night never end.”

And then murmur of DASHAMI seems audible. Mayana gets to hear sound of cornet coming from a distance. She gets alarmed and calls upon the watchmen” Bholanath is coming to take away Gouri, the sound of cornet is getting nearer each moment. Go, stop him there. I will not let Uma go, She has stayed for only three days with me. Now henceforth she will live with me only.”

Gouri consoles her mother. “A daughter is destined to live with her husband. Please look towards your own self. You too are somebody’s daughter. You do not go there; even so I stay for three days each year with you.”

At this Mayana and all others get annoyed, They express disapproval of her words, by calling her--- Du gga, Du gga.

And after long last all the clamour ceases, retort ends. The daughter again becomes Uma (Oh, maa). With tearful eyes people bid farewell, with  the request “ Aschhe bachar abbar eso” (Come again the coming year.)


More by :  Ganganand Jha

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