(here's a re-post from 8/28 for your listening pleasure!)
Mahalaya has always been a pre-cursor to the puja mood during our childhood.
Listening to the deep voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra on All India Radio in a half-awake state at 4 am in the morning, the slight nip in the air and the still dark outside, peering out from under the lep (comforter) and stretching our ears to listen to Mahishashur Mardini, the realization of puja vacations at schools and colleges just around the corner - all these snippets of imagery bring back a flood of nostalgic memories.
This year Mahalaya is on 23rd September. Many of us will be listening and re-creating the Mahalaya effect on the 21st or 27th weekends at our homes.
Here is the complete Mahishashur Mardini by Birendra Krishna Bhadra embedded from Youtube. This is for those kids growing up here and missing such simple pleasures of life. This is for those students who just started their Fall semester and still coping with that knot in their throat for having to miss Durga Puja back at home. This is for those of us who would be re-creating the Mahalaya effect a month down the line. Enjoy!