Ganapati in the city

So Ganapati has gone after ten days of celebration. The blaring loudspeakers are silent.

I was late to the Ganapati party since back home we had no clue what the fuss was all about, other than what we saw in Hindi films and I always thought it was an exaggerated version of the real thing. It was in Pune that I got an up close and personal view of the festival.

The pandals are everywhere but the more revered Ganapatis are found in the old city. A bit ironic isn’t it? That some Ganapatis should be more revered than the others? Some more gracious about granting wishes than others? But then religion is beyond reason.

I try to visit the city at least once during the ten days, not for the blessings, but for the old world charm of the celebrations. No matter how huge the pandals in the scores of apartment complexes across the city, this is different. The buzz is something else and I love everything about it.

I do not find the crowds claustrophobic or the walk daunting. I find the small plastic toys on sale fascinating and the toy sellers even more so. Perhaps it reminds me of the melas of my childhood which were a bit of a forbidden treat or maybe it is my yen for roadside shopping. I do love it all.

This year I was a little reluctant after a friend had her bag cut through and her wallet stolen. The crowds hold all kinds. However I did manage a visit even though half my attention was on my sling bag.

As it turned out the visit was worth every little bit of it. To begin with the flower market is a treat. I loved the masses piled up by roadside. 

And I adore the lotus, perhaps because we don't get to see them too often and definitely not in such profusion. It's not much use getting it home because it wilts pretty soon but it does look gorgeous. Doesn't it?

Check out the long winding columns of devotees. I didn't venture to queue up but satisfied myself with the glimpse of the God from outside. Loudspeakers were booming out artis and instructions. At one of the temples a gentleman announced, ‘Don’t forget to take selfies with your favourite Ganapati’. 

Talk about keeping up with the times!

Oh and I love this quaint custom of whispering your dearest wish into the ear of the mooshak in the hope that he would conveyed it to Ganapati.

...age is no bar. All you need is to have faith.

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