• Rozana Rajkumari

Fall Writing Frenzy 2021

This was the first-ever kidlit contest I participated in and I had so much fun last year! Thank you, Kaitlyn Sanchez, Lydia Lukidis, and guest judge Ameerah Holliday for organizing this. Read the other spooktacular entries here. Hope you enjoy my entry and happy October!

Photo credit: Partho Roy (Unsplash)



Rozana Rajkumari

WC 197

Any minute, Laija's friends would arrive to celebrate their first Durga Puja together. The festival marked the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura.

“Please let it be perfect,” Laija wished.

Amma shared Laija's feelings.

“Laija, we need to adorn Maa Durga before they get here.”

“I wish we had as many hands as Maa Durga,” Laija sighed as they put vermillion, sandalwood, and turmeric paste on Maa Durga.

There were marigolds to be hung, lamps to be lit, and sweets to be made. Laija worked hard to unfurl the marigold garlands, when…


“Oh no!”

Laija froze.

Yuki, Nafiza, and Juan were here!

“Happy Durga Puja!” they said.

“Thanks... sorry... we haven't finished,” mumbled Laija.

“We're here to help,” Nafiza said.

Yuki shaped round laddoos and square burfis with Amma. Nafiza and Laija hung marigolds, while Juan helped Baba light the lamps.

Had Maa Durga sent extra hands to help?

That October day was crisp, but Laija felt warm inside.

Sparklers and lamps lit up their eyes,

sweets melted in their mouths,

as incense tickled their noses,

and laughter rang in their ears—

reminding Laija that Durga Puja was perfect when shared.


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