Fifteen years ago, when a 24-year-old Behala resident left for “bilet” to study masters in computer science, never in his wildest dreams could he think that some day, he would be one of the busiest purohits of England — running for one one Puja mandap to another.
Today, 39-year-old property consultant Tanay Mukherjee is in such high demand that committees across England plan their Pujas according to his schedule.
The computer expert, who earlier worked with HSBC and Transport For London, is enjoying his experience as a purohit. This year, he is performing Durga Puja at three places — two days in Drayton, four days at North London Prabhati Sangha and a one-day Puja in Norwich on October 12. Whenever there is a Puja in London or nearby places, Mukherjee is the most sought-after purohit.
“I have been doing this since 2008. Since I am a Brahmin, the Indians, particularly the Bengalis, settled in England call me to help them out with their Pujas — be it a Durga Puja or conducting a yajna for a griha pravesh or a wedding. People even ask me to conduct pujas after buying a new car,” said Mukherjee.
The first offer came in 2008 — to perform a Satyanarayan Puja in Tooting. “I got 50 pounds as ‘pronami’. And that was the begining. From 2009, I started doing Durga Puja.”
This year, Mahalaya was on Saturday and the Bengalis of Drayton in London suburbs started their Puja. “Because we wanted to hold the Puja over the weekend and because Mukherjee will be busy with another puja next weekend, we had to choose this schedule,” said Partha Choudhury, organiser of the Adi Shakti puja of Drayton. “We are organising the puja for the third year and without Mukherje we cannot organsie the Puja,” said Choudhury.
Jawaharlal Sil of North London Prabhati Sangha said they are holding the Puja for the fourth time and Mukherjee had been doing their Puja for the past three years.
Ujjaini Majumdar of Norwich Adda said that decided to defer their Durga puja because of Mukherjee. “Earlier we had a non-Bengali priest, but his style of puja did not impress us, so we got Mukjherjee. This time we were late and Mukherjee said that this puja he was already booked, So, we decided to hold the puja on October 12,” she said.
Mukherjee said that he gets around 1,000 pounds for a four-day puja, while for a weekend Puja the amount is 500 pounds.
Source: Times of India