|When the people
were ready, a priest with the customary puja post sanctified the Charak. The smaller arm
of the whirling crossbeam at the top was turned and brought over the wooden platform. The
man who was to swing climbed the platform by a temporary staircase of wood with some other
devotees, while two more stood below holding the longer rope in their hands.
When he was ready, they would reduce the pressure on the rope, so as
to make the arm of the cross-beam on their side go up and the other arm bend down. The
hook was then thrust through the flesh on the back of the man, but if he showed any signs
of fainting; he was not allowed to undertake the risk of swinging.
Otherwise, the men below pulling down the other end of the
beam lifted him off his feet; and one or both of them holding the large rope went quickly
round the post, so as to whirl the man in the air.This continued for 10 or 15 minutes,
according to the man's power of Mahadeva and scattering flowers upon the assembled
worshippers below. His turn being over, the others would follow him one by one until
was time for them to disperse.
The passage of time and statutory prohibition have affected the Charak Puja at Ektesvara
but the Gajan and mela continue with some touches of modernism which are inevitable.7
7 "Paschim Banger Sanskriti" (Bengali) by
Binoy Ghosh, Calcutta (1957).