Celeb Speak: In a Conversation with Barsha Rani Bishaya - Noted Assamese Actress

Barsha in front of her puja

Guwahati, October 12th, 2013

Durgapuja Online: Please tell us about the Durga Puja at your house? When did your family first start hosting the Goddess?

Barsha: The puja at our place has completed 87 years. The pooja was started by my  great grandfather who used to do ghat puja. Earlier the puja was performed quite simply but it was my grandfather who was influenced by a particular incident in his childhood. My grandfather used to frequent a particular pandal where Durga puja was performed in all its grandeur and delicious bhog was served. M grandfather in all his innocence took his place in the bhogqueue but he was told to leave as he upper caste people would have their bhog first.
This casteist incident left an indelible mark on his tender mind and he vowed that he would celebrate puja in the grandest form at his own house. He also resolved to wear a gold “poite” around his chest as a sign of defiance against the sacred thread worn by Brahmins. People from all over Assam come to watch our pooja now. Our goddesses and even mahisasura wear pure gold jewellery.  All the puja paraphernalia is sourced from Kolkata kumartuli.

Durgapuja Online: What’s your pooja fashion tip to the youth?

Barsha: I make it a point to dress up traditionally during the puja. My advice to the current generation would be to dress up traditionally and in a sober way during pooja. 
Nowadays in Assam lots of young guys drink and drive, there are so many accidents happening that it’s really pathetic. I would sincerely request the current generation to behave more responsibly during pooja. 

Durgapuja Online: Any plans of coming to Kolkata?

Barsha: I do want to see Kolkata Durga Pooja but I am so emotionally attached to my home’s Pooja that it’s painful to contemplate going out.

Durgapuja Online: You have done some events with Dalmia Cement in the past. Any special message for the team?

Barsha: I love their slogan and their commitment and hard work. I wish everybody a very happy durga pooja and may the goddess shine her glory upon you!!

The year old durgapuja heritage continues
Photography Courtesy : Ujjal Deb