Since childhood, I always had a fascination for the divine God-Lord Ganesha.
During the 70’s our family used to reside at Khetwadi, Grant Road; an area that had majority of the hindu population. Festivities of Ganapati started with a lot of pomp and grandeur. Each lane of Khetwadi would set up a Sarvajanik Mandap with beautifully decorated stage displaying the heavenly adorned Ganapati idol. Each unique in itself.
Being kids it was very mystical to enter the make shift bamboo structure so as to see the light and sound drama. The idols were huge and sometimes there used to be a mini show. My grandmother would take my kid sister Farzeen and me to each lane during those 10 days; sometimes at night to avoid heavy rush. I still remember a large Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati moving up on the stage and Lord Ganesha emerging from the mountains showering blessings and flowers. This memory is embedded in my mind forever. I recently visited the 12 cross lane at Khetwadi with my husband to relive those fantastic memories.
Narrating the story of Ganesha
Telling little kids the story of Ganesha is a ritual for me. Without fail every year in school I narrate this story dramatizing it to the fullest. I really enjoy watching children concentrate and look in amazement, on how Ganeshji was beheaded by his father Lord Shiva. I end the story on a pleasant note of how Ganeshji travels on a little mouse. Also stories of him being fond of modaks add sweetness to the classroom environment.
Lal Baug Cha Raja
In 2013, I visited Lal Baug Cha Raja for the first time with my school friend Ms Modi. The experience was one of a kind. The long queues with police bandobast and baracades did not stop us from getting the darshan. The line was so long it took us over 2 hours inspite of buying a pass. However, we managed to get close to The Lord for his divine blessings, only to be hushed away by the volunteers. Nonetheless, I was happy to have struck an item off my bucketlist.
I pay my respects to Ganapati during 10 day long celebration. One such friend I never fail to visit is Geeta Parab’s residence.She welcomes an eco- friendly Ganesh idol for five days. There is something I feel when I look at the idol, bowing my head and simply praying for the well being of everyone. She never fails to extend a lunch invitation serving us vegetarian delicacies. I have beautiful memories of singing praises of the Lord on dholak, with an antakshri session at her place.
My wish for Ganapati Celebrations everywhere
While celebrating Ganesh Festival people generally ignore environmental impact of pollution on air, water, noise, solid waste, etc caused by various activities performed during puja. Devotees immerse the idol chanting Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa. Along with Ganesh idols people dump other accessories like thermocol, plastics, etc. as well adding to the level of water pollution. I only wish we realize what harm we are doing to our environment and wake up before its too late.
Here are few pics of the Ganapatis I visited in last 10 days…
Selfie toh banta hai boss….
If you like expressing your devotion towards Ganesha, please post your comment at this blog post. I would be eager to make it a part of my worship. May Lord Ganesha bless us all.