Laal Paad Saree & Dashami

My first Durga Pujo after marriage was a very special one, for many reasons. Apart from getting to spending the Pujo with my husband & new family, it was also my first time celebrating Pujo in Kolkata. I got to know about so many rituals and stories which I didn’t know about before. The one that fascinated me most was the Laal Paad Shada saree (Red border white saree), which is a symbol of tradition & good luck in Bengalis, and the mark of a married woman & is typically worn on Dashami.

This is my attempt at capturing the essence and beauty of the Laal paad shada saree. Shot these in the gullies of Kolkata & it happened to be the first day of Pujo. With the sound of Dhaak-Dhol, smell of Dhunuchi in the pandals, it just added more charisma to shooting in the City of Joy.

The combination of red and white saree is supposed to signify the mother goddess. In Bengal, women- young or old are referred to as ‘Maa’. In the traditional “athpoure” drape, the red border of the Laal paad saree is meant to draw your eyes to the Sindoor or eyes of the woman, which are the iconic representation of the Goddess.

The idea being- There is a Goddess in every woman.

Durga Pujo (Navratri) for Bengalis is the biggest festival as it is believed Durga Maa came to Earth to fight Mahishasur. At the end of the 5 day long festivities, with a heavy heart, we bid adieu to Durga Maa as she returns to Mount Kailash on Dashami. Just before the immersion of the idol are two of the main rituals where married women wear the Laal paad shada saree for Debi Boron & Shidur (sindur) Khela . Debi Boron is a beautiful ritual wherein married women offer sweets & shidur to Goddess Durga before her journey back to her husband, Lord Shiva.

Asche bochor abar hobe ” – Durga Maa will visit us again next year!

Styling & Muse – Trisha Biswas
Concept & Photography – Nivedita Ghosh
I hope you liked this series, it’s very close to my heart. Inputs and feedback is much appreciated.

To see more portraits, click here !

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  1. I had the opportunity to meet this young, charming looking lady at a relative’s wedding. Now reading through her blogs and seeing the lovely photography work of Nivedita, they speak a million about her passion.

    Keep up the awesome work Nivedita. Hope to meet up during my next trip to Bangalore.

  2. The photographs are so beautiful. It looks like Durga. Write up represents the meaning of Durgapuja. Many will learn about the meaning of Durgapuja. Significance of Lal paad saree is nicely explained.

    • Hi Nivedita,
      Your depiction of Lal Paad Saree & your expression of the Durga Pujo in Kolkata, transported me back in time to my Childhood days .. when I used to spend my school summer Holidays in .Krishnagar.
      I miss those days .. so thank you for picking up this subject so close to my heart .. but buried deep inside.
      Congratulations for growing so splendidly as a person in life and a professional in your lovely chosen field of Photography.

      Love & best wishes..
      Rontu Mama

      • Hi Rontu Mama,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to go through my blogs!
        I’m so glad to be able to refresh few of your childhood memories. We tend to lose touch with our roots over time, and this is an ongoing personal project of mine, to try & recreate some of our traditions. Stay tuned for more 🙂

        Much love!

    • Nivedita, The potraits were perfect. Got to know the significance of Pujo. Chalte raho. God Bless.— Wilfred

  3. Superb blog of lal paad saree & Calcutta. Bengali culture is very close to my heart as it is also my birth place.Your article along with the beautiful photos are very narrative and I could visualise the whole culture. Thanks a lot for your informative blog

  4. The details which you had shared are really great and nice. And thank you for your valuable information. Your work is really good. keep it up.

  5. Very nicely described Bengalii culture with beautiful pics, it refreshes Bengali culture. Appreciate your good work just keep going.

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