Come the colourful and vibrant festival of Ganesh Chaturthi and we see Lord Ganesha seated comfortably in canopied tents on the streets, in the campus of housing societies and in the cool confines of houses and homes. Every year, lakhs of families invite the obstacle removing God Ganesha in their homes for the 11 days of the festival and pamper Him as a guest of the house.
Though Ganesha is Ganesha, no matter where He is seated, but personally, I find home Ganeshas even more amiable and pleasant in nature.
DAY 7: A VERY FRIENDLY HOME GANESHA!
Today let me take you along to one such interesting home Ganesha I visited two days back in my society - just a floor below ours.
It was bang in the middle of the afternoon when I knocked at her door to meet the Gauri Putra Vinayaka. Tired after a hectic day of welcoming guests and taking care of the various rituals of Ganesha, she opened the door with sleepy eyes and unkempt hair. This was when I realized Mrs. Aarti Kabra, the kind lady of the house, had been sleeping and I had disturbed her in her afternoon siesta.
I felt sorry for my avoidable intrusion and apologising, I turned back to return later sometime in the evening but there was no way she would let me go. With a wide smile on her face and excitement in her voice, she welcomed me in warmly. How can you even think of leaving like that without meeting Bappa? she remarked lovingly.
The warmth and cheer of her bright and lovely smile washed away all my feelings of guilt as easily as a stone is washed away by the flowing water.
I saw the same cheer reflect in the eyes of the Lord whom she along with her family had nurtured with all their love and devotion ever since He came home. Something which they have now been doing for the past 50 years or so.
Seeing a camera in my hand, she put on additional lights and asked me if I needed any more. She pointed out how all the decorations – the stitching and the sewing of the shiny sequins and rose flowers on the ornamental canopy and drapes - had been done by herself, days before Bappa was to arrive.
She also told me how she wished to do more but was nevertheless content with whatever she could manage in the limited time frame. I admired the peace and calming energy in her spirit as she took the time to patiently explain everything to me before proceeding to spend some time with Bappa.
I knelt down before Him – the soothing vapours of the incense and the flickering light of the diya creating a divine aura of love and bonding not only between the Bappa and me but between all three of us. I don’t know why… perhaps it was the magic of her faith, her joyfulness and her energy but I felt like I had known her Bappa for a long time… it was a lovely time I spent in prayer.
Just as I was leaving, she asked me if I would be writing about her Bappa and I replied umm, may be. Hearing this, she was overjoyed beyond bounds and asked me to send her a copy once I do. So this Ganesha story goes to her, her kindness, her joy and her simplicity which compelled me to write this one.
May Lord Ganesha bless you aunty for all your goodness and cheer, you entire family with happiness and prosperity, may your heart always keep smiling in joy, now and for all the years to come!
P.S.: This year, come along with me for meeting our very own neighbourhood friendly Ganesha on My Yatra Diary... peeping into one pandal each day.
You can also visit 2015's posts here --> Ganesh Pandal hopping from Mumbai.