Kolkata, Oct 24: As an air of sadness prevailed with the arrival of idol immersion time at the end of Durga Puja, women in West Bengal bid farewell to the goddess with vermillion, betel leaf and sweets on the occasion of Bijoya Doshomi on Tuesday.
As per tradition, women, mostly clad with red and white sarees, first covered the face of Durga with betel leaf, smeared vermillion on the foreheads and chicks of the idols and finally pressed sweetmeats on the lips of the idols.
The women then celebrated the occasion by smearing vermillion on each other.
Explaining the rationale behind the vermillion ritual, Dolon Sengupta, a home-maker, said that for Bengalis, Durga is not just a goddess who destroys the evil.
“She is more like a daughter at home, who after a point of time goes to her in-law’s place. For us, these four days of Durga Puja are an occasion of the daughter coming to our home from her in-law’s place.
"Now she is going back to her in-law’s place for a year and hence we bid her farewell through such rituals,” she said.
Meanwhile, the immersion process has started since Tuesday afternoon at 34 immersion ghats and 40 lakes and artificial water-bodies in different parts of Kolkata.
The immersion process is being conducted under blanket security cover jointly manned by the Kolkata Police, the disaster management department, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the river traffic guard.
“This year there has been excellent coordination between the corporation and the city police. The same thing will continue for the next few days until the last idol is immersed,” said Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim.