The Vermilion Affair

Everything is secondary to Durga Puja in Bengali life. For 9 days the Goddess comes to live with her people, as their daughter as well as their mother. On the day of Ekadhadi, its time for her to go back, but not without a fitting send off. The married womenfolk of the house circumambulation seven times around her to the beating of dhak (durms), light lamps before her, offer her sweets and betel-leaf and smear vermilion her and on each other. And then the wait begins - until the next year.