O Lord Vinayaka! The remover of all obstacles, the son of Lord Shiva, with a form which is very short, with mouse as Thy vehicle, with sweet pudding in hand, with wide ears and long hanging trunk, I prostrate at Thy lotus-like Feet!
Finding Ganesha… Not difficult at this time of the year…
Life in the city is pulsating with the chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’. Yes, the annual 11 day festival of Ganesh Chaturthi - the birthday of the pot bellied and elephant headed, cute and gentle, Lord Ganesha – is underway and is being celebrated with much gusto and fervor throughout the country. And here, in Mumbai, it’s celebrated in style!!
Imagine 12000 pandals (temporary canopied set-ups spread out in various localities), lacs of societies and innumerable homes, all elaborately decked up – brightly and colorfully decorated with festoons, flowers, ornaments – to welcome the city’s most endearing deity!
Preparations for all of this begin well in advance. Finally , amid sounds of drumbeats and nagaras and melodious chanting of hymns, the ‘God of knowledge and wisdom’ arrives… painting the entire town in the festive colors of joy, ecstasy and devotion. My blog gets sprayed too, hence this mini break from our Rajasthan trip.
The next 11 days revolve around Him… He’s the birthday boy after all!!
He blissfully sits in the various pandals and homes, amidst His devotees, ensuring that His grace and blessings reaches all. Big temples and shrines do not make the cut for Him. All He looks for is a pure heart, true devotion and
some plenty of modaks, His favorite sweet!
The two most famous pandals in Mumbai are Lalbaughcha Raja and the GSB mandal but they are far too crowded for my liking, hence I give them a miss and instead visit some pandals in and around my locality.
And this year, it’s special… because I am not alone…
What, with all of you joining me:) So let’s go!!
His big ears symbolize that your woes will never go unheard and true to one of his names Vignaharta - ‘Remover of all obstacles’, He removes them too.
Before stepping in, in these pandals, I mentally make a list of my troubles and complaints for Him. But when I actually ‘meet’ Him, I tend to forget all about them and instead find myself completely immersed in the beauty...