Diary of Hobbitt

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ganpathi Bappa Morya

Once again it is that time of the year when the state is thrown into a frenzy of excitement and activity as it prepares to celebrate the festival of its most favourite god-Ganpathi !As one goes around the bustling metro there is a festive spirit in the air and all around.They come in all sizes and shapes-I am referring to ganpathi idols ,as they sit , on a makeshift table,viewing the world with benign eyes, waiting to be picked up and taken to different destinations. The crowds throng these shops,looking at the idols, totally excited and at the same time confused at the variety that is offered.Each idol is a masterpiece by itself ,adorned with with all kinds of decorations-some so beautiful that one feels sad one has to immerse it at the end of the festival. Nevertheless one still buys it and the shopping does'nt end there. There are other things along with the idols which tempt the buyer ! bejewelled gold & silver crowns, wooden platforms for keeping the idol, silk scarves in bright colours, small silken umbrellas to hang over the idol and of course, garlands (big and small) made of plastic flowers,beads and velvet flowers.The shops selling electrical goods also jump onto the bandwagon by selling festival lights that can be hung up like a garland to give these earthy idols a divine look!As for the music shops , (not to be outdone in this moneymaking business!)they sell new releases in the form of CDs and tapes-Move over all other Gods of the Hindus, the current favourite is the elephant headed God!So all one sees in these shops are bhajans and shlokas' CDs and tapes dedicated to Ganpathi !Not that anybody minds it-far from it !The janta is more than willing to pay for all this ,after all it is a ten day long festival and the deity in question happens to be the most important one-one that has to be invoked first, before the start of anything auspicious.Who can resist loving the plump little elephant-headed god as he surveys the world with his benign eyes.Mumbai has a vey soft corner for this lovable god.One can see miniatures of ganpathy in offices, in shops, in cars, in clinics, in restaurants,...the list is endless!Its Ganpathy everywhere for the next ten days as every mandal tries to outdo the other in size and creative skill as it competes for the best Ganpathy idol in town.One does feel a kind of vacuum as the idols make their way to the sea for immersion on the eleventh day, amidst loud chants of "Ganpathi Bappa Morya"


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