Yesterday was the last day of our annual Ganesh festival. Traffic jams everywhere and sensible people just stayed at home. In Pune, the dhol tasha effect could be heard from morning and as I write this, at 8.45 am on the day following the immersion, I can still hear the last of the processions reaching the immersion sites on the river bank.
My problem is that I am lost without my daily morning dose of four newspapers to read and four crossword puzzles to solve. Yes, Pune’s newspapers shut down yesterday and no printing took place.
So, after waiting for long and having discovered that I will not get my morning fix, I am ranting here and will now go off to read something or the other.
My niece Riya posted this photograph on FaceBook.
Is that not beautiful?
In Tamil Nadu on Krishna’s birthday, there is a tradition of printing out a child’s footsteps symbolising the visit to the home by Baby Krishna to steal butter. The printing is done by wetting ones heel of the hand and dipping it into a plate of rice flour and transferring the flour to the floor. After the necessay number of such imprints are made, toes are added.
Riya’s post brought back those old memories when we used to look forward to this festival for its goodies. As I type this however, we are at the beginning of the eleven days of Ganesh Chathurthi and I have already had a healthy dose of modaks.
Today is the first day of ten days of Ganesh festival in India. Today, idols of the Elephant God Ganesha is installed in public places and in homes for private worship. During the next ten days, special worship will be offered as well as festival food cooked for personal consumption and sharing with family, friends and visitors. You can get a bird’s eye view of the festival from this wikipedia article.
Maharashtra is the leader among the states for this festival as it was started as a public festival by a Maharashtrian during the independence struggle. A private affair was brought out in the open as a means for people to congregate during the time when public gatherings were not viewed favourably by the British.
In Maharashtra, Mumbai and Pune are the two main cities for elaborate displays, processions and gaiety. The wikipedia article shows the large Mumbai Deity which is the King of the processions and this one is the one from Pune called the Dagdu Sheth Ganapathi.
The image is of the Deity in the temple. During the procession, it is taken in a chariot drawn by devotees and the chariot is lit by one thousand lamps, now powered by mobile gensets.
My late mother was an ardent Ganesh devotee and would keep an idol for all ten days of the festival and do everything connected with the festival for the full days. After the first time that she did it in our home, my late wife continued the practice as long as she was alive. Since her death, I have discontinued the private installation and rituals.
The climax of the festival will be on the tenth day when the idols will be given a fond farewell by immersion in our rivers or in lakes around Pune. I shall write about that on the immersion day called the visarjan.
Today is also the Annual Id festival for Muslims and Pune is full of gaiety and colourful celebrations all over. As I write this, my son and his friends are visiting many places to observe all the festivities. I used to do it many years ago but am now too lazy to make the effort.
My readers will remember my post on ‘Faux Pas’.
Yesterday was an important festival in India called the Ganesh Chaturthi when idols of Ganesha are immersed after ten days of special worship. Many homes prepare special dishes to celebrate.
This morning, my USA returned friends landed up with many goodies made for the occasion as a ‘peace offering’! I am not the one to look at the mouth of the gift horse and gladly accepted with profuse gratitude. This picture shows Modak, a particularly tasty and important dish. This was only one among a few others but this will give you an idea about the effort that would have gone into making it.
I however remembered Jean’s admonition and tasted a few of the offerings and appreciated the taste and falvours. The lady primped up and was very happy. I added that I could never make such a dish and she primped up even more. It is a fact, that I cannot generate the energy and effort required to make this.
We are quits. Thank you Jean.
I am enjoying the beneficial consequences of the faux pas!