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Celebrating Ganesh

Long before it became environmentally fashionable, I’ve been celebrating the festival of Ganpati with my tiny silver idol. It all started with the aim of introducing my children to some of our traditions which tend to get lost in the day to day course of living. Initially we used to keep out the idol for all ten days during which time the girls would happily sing the ‘aarati’, enthusiastically decorate the spot where we kept the Ganpati and vigorously ring the bell and clang the tiny cymbals. However, as they grew older, my mother-in-law felt it more prudent to keep the idol out for just the day and a half because even if our idol was not a family tradition, she still felt we needed to observe certain practices while Ganesha was at home (being vegetarian, not imbibing alcohol, doing the puja twice a day) which may have been hard to adhere to and rather than risk the wrath of God with certain lapses albeit unintentional, we began keeping the Ganpati for just a day and a half.

Last year ,with the house bereft of children, I wondered whether we should bring out the Ganpati at all but Hubby Dear insisted that we did and so last year’s Ganesh festival was not as exciting as this year’s since it would be  Wow Dinga’s first Ganesha festival. I could hardly  wait to see his reaction to everything – the flowers, the lights, the bells and of course the modaks.
I spent the better part of Hartilaka (the eve of the festival) shopping for floral decorations and was shocked at some of the astronomical figures that the florists seemed to quote so effortlessly. I was also amazed at the new fangled decorations – floral arches made of either real orchids dyed in hideous colours or blatantly plastic flowers that would far outlast the festival.

Despite the innovative use of roses and orchids, I still prefer the traditional garlands made out of seasonal flowers like marigold and mogra. Sadly the market didn’t have any of Ganesha’s favourite blooms – red hibiscus and red balsam.

With our Ganesha now back in the cupboard, I will spend the next few days visiting the community Ganesha in different neighbourhoods which I hope to capture with my new camera.


Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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