Streetside Puja

Streetside Puja (Kolkata, India)

It is said that the Durga Puja, which honors the Mother Goddess Durga, cannot come to an end until all the women have had the opportunity to make offerings and receive her blessings – and this includes all the women who may live or work on the streets. So, although i’ve been to probably a dozen or more ceremonies over the past few days, from lavish affairs in private homes to simple blessings in neighborhood temples, for me, this small spontaneous gathering on the side of an incredibly busy street was one of the most memorable ceremonies.

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Kumartuli Woman

Kumartuli Woman

I was drawn to the strength in this woman’s expression and in her hands. She had just finished washing a load of clothes when a loud crowd of men carrying very large, very heavy “idols” passed by the ally.