If there is a festival I long it is Ganesh Chaturthi for there is a special bonding with Bappa. Ganpati is not just my favourite God but my friend, guide and philosopher. I am not a religious person and it wouldn’t be wrong to call myself an agnostic but Bappa is a spiritual energy which exudes powerful vibes. Such is the equation and I sense the powerful force visiting during the 11 days festival.
We all have this cool friend with whom we bare the heart out and speaking to Bappa is an elixir of sort. I choose to do the festival for the 11 days at home, lighting the diyas and performing the arati daily without fail and putting the bhajans. It is mostly Hindi film songs and celebrating the might of the elephant God. Ganpati for me is reliving the college days in India where I stayed in Pune and Mumbai.
It’s all about celebrating the power exuded by Ganpati spreading seamless joy. My first tryst with the God was in Pune where music was played by loud and unabated when I first came to the city many moons back with people gyrating to the tune of songs till the wee hours in the morning.
Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi takes me back to the carefree, student days in Pune with the smearing of colours with localites dancing on the road during the visarjan. Many ask me this question why I choose to celebrate when I am a self proclaimed agnostic? Honestly, I have no answer and it’s just my equation with the Lord, pretty much in the same way we would do with friends. Bappa never judge me when I share my deepest worries with him the time he visits for 11 days. I speak to him about what I am going through, the happy moments, personal issues, irritations and anxiety, asking him to show me the way.
We are living in such tough times where travel is almost impossible with the virus and this time I told Bappa to guide me because I am longing to break free. Our friend lets me to be myself and he never disappoints. Bappa is my secret diary with whom I vent out, without caring a hoot for the world.
The only difference is I don’t write but speak to him. I am sure he listens to my heart and the song, hymn inside the heart capturing dreams and emotions. There is immense beauty for I can cry my heart out inner frustration and anger to my favourite friend. I can tell you honestly that Bappa listens to me and he sprinkles blessing.
The year I shifted to Mumbai in 2006 where we all went to the Visarjan with hostel friends at Girgaum Chowpatthy which made it an enthralling experience to cherish for years. We followed the mammoth crowd and felt like we were moving with the invisible flow, at some point moving towards the sea, reaffirming my belief in the Lord. A part of me believes that we got to trust the lord, gently taking us in his midst and to just go with the flow without protest.
I was moving left and right in a jamboree of sort towards the road one moment and the next without realizing the feet just touched the sea water. It’s an experience that I cannot describe in words. I captured the whole experience on my phone but sadly the gadget was stolen. But, there is no hard feeling since the moments are captured in the memoru.
Far away from home in India, I try to relive the moments and make it a point to get the favourite sweets, modak, Karanji which in North India we call Gujiya, mouth watering Gulab Jamun and motichur ladoo for the Lord to bless. We don’t buy the Ganpati Idol to be immersed but in the prayer room, we celebrate his visit in our own and simple way to humbly making the offering which we share with neighbours and friends. I still have my Ganesh idols which I got from India and in this way, I relive the blissful years.
This year has been special to me despite the COVID-19 pandemic where the Lord has blessed me in more than ways and has surprised me with positive vibes.
A reminder to not nurture expectations in life and, a work in progress that I am and to remain humble as we pray to the Lord for blessings. Of course, every Ganpati, the Lord takes me to those days I was visiting Siddhi Vinayak and whispering to his muse, the mouse which feels like yesterday only.
We share a happy space and the guardian angel Siddhi Vinayak has surprised me with my projects landing on my lap in the least expected way, helping me to sail through financially. I am grateful in the way the Lord works when a prayer was made during the years to help me while struggling or for that matter, living on the edge money wise.
Ganpati Bappa Morya.
A free writing prompt on every Sunday and linking to Esha’s blog. I promise to hop on the listed blogs where the aim is to encourage writing and removing the mind’s clutter every week.