Saturday, 22 September 2012

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

           Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great pomp in Mumbai for all of 11 days. Unlike many other places where Ganesh idol is brought into a community or a temple, here many Maharashtrian houses bring the lord to their homes and immerse the idol on 1 1/2 days, 3 days, 5days, 7 days and sometimes on the 11th day. The streets are full of people colored with gulal, dancing to the dhol beats and a ambiance of love for the lord is created all over. 


We do not bring the Ganesh idol home but the festival is celebrated in its own special way in our home. 
On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, the whole house is cleaned first thing in the morning. I and Mom start with the cooking. 7 different types of vegetable dishes, a sweet dish and the regular food is prepared. The sweet dish is usually kheer. 
Dad brings home 5 different types of fruits, sweets, tender coconut and beetle leaves and nut. 
The food is laid out on plaintain leaf before the small prayer place at home. Water in a small silver tumbler is kept. 
Together we perform aarti reading out the bhajans from the books. I m glad I learnt most of them at school so I lead the whole aarti :) 
                After the aarti is done, we lay out the similar food on another plantain leaf in the memory of our loved ones who passed away and keep it for the crows. 
                The food kept for the Lord is then shared as prasad after which we have a quite lunch laid out on the leaves. 
                 For once the house looks peaceful and graced by the Lord. In this simple but special way, the Lord is remembered and thanked and asked for forgivance. 
                 When I was younger, my parents used to take a leave on one of the 11 days and we would go visiting the Ganpati pandals all day. I would love to see the different idols all over the place and insist to wait and watch the various shows which they had at the pandals. 
                 There used to be different themes for these shows. Some mythological, some on current issues. One particular year it was all about the Kargil wars and I was so much absorbed into it that I would want to watch the show at every pandal. Roaming around in the sun, eating outside and still more roaming would ensure that I feel sick somewhere (yea I was and am that sensitive :P ) and following it would be glasses of Limca to make me feel better. Yet the next year I would be willing to go through the ritual all over.. 
                  Now I no longer get leave to visit the pandals all day and the shows have lost their appeal. I now see the ugly faces behind the whole pandal (collecting or rather forcing money out of the people, using that money for personal gains, the drunken bash after the visarjan) and I see the sadness on the face of my Lord. Somehow I always feel it in the way the eyes are shaped. A place with negative energy will never get a benevolent looking eye on the idol. It will bear this sad or angry look. 
                  I see the way the idols are immersed in the sea and irrespective of all the bio idols available, I know the next day the limbs of the idol will be floating around or worse be dismantled on the shores of the sea. Maybe things were same when I was younger but I m now beginning to see the reality. 
                  After the puja at our home, I visit a few of friends who have the idol at their homes and few select pandals close by. 
                 The Ganesh puja at home is something which I would like to carry forward all my life. IT is in these small prayers that you find the Lord among you or maybe its in this way that you invoke the presence of the omnipotent to your sense :) 
                  Yes you don't need an idol. You just need a communication channel :D 



am glad to see u back... :)

M in love said...

@anjali: thank you :)

Keirthana said...

Glad to know you are back. And in your post, the last line said it all.

//You don't need an idol. You just need a channel of communication// Awesome! Wish people will realize this more.


Ramya said...

Wow you are backkkk :D very happy to see you post again herre :D almost have checked on you every day! :D
Welcome back M, keep writing :D and keep smiling

M in love said...

@Keirthana: :) Feels like its been ages :) I wish things got more simpler :)

M in love said...

@Ramya: Oh really?? I m just so touched :) Thank you so much dear..

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