Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A flamboyant farewell


-By Swetha Amit
“So long, farewell, its time to say goodbye.”....

Some adieus’ are bid with a heavy heart while others are exhibited in a grand manner. The Ganpati Visarjan is one such instance which portrays the unmistakable flamboyance of saying goodbye in a remarkable manner.

It was the 11th day of the Ganesh Utsav yesterday which is declared as a public holiday to prepare for the magnificent departure of the elephant faced God. The maximum city truly exhibited its maximum stance on a literal basis. The swarming diverse crowd of millions, the undoubted ardor depicted in large amounts and the glorious celebration; Mumbai displayed an illustrious and illuminating effect.

Trucks were beautifully decorated and carried the idols of various sizes with tremendous splendor. Crackers were burst, making it seem to be like a Diwali celebration. The city depicted a delightful glow and radiance. Decorations, music, lights, it seemed like more than one reason to indulge in this pompous celebration after India’s marvelous victory the day before.

The processions equaled that of a ‘wedding barat’ with immense grandeur accompanied with the beat of the drums and people swaying to the foot tapping beats. The young, old and middle aged showed no qualms about swaying as they all seemed to be in a devotional trance. There was also no distinction between the classes as they sang and danced along till various collective points.

The Chowpatty beach in Mumbai was one such destination that witnessed the crazy crowds that showed no hesitation in portraying their abundant affiliation and affection towards their favorite God.

The trucks were halted and the ‘aarthi’ was taken before the immersion. This was similar to that of a religious mother who performs it, as her son/daughter gets ready to take leave for a long annual period away from home. The idols were pampered before being immersed gently on to the rough waves as though ensuring the well equipped Stan of the God to face the arduous journey ahead. Individuals surrounded the ‘murthis’ in a fiercely protective manner like a family would, of a beloved member. While the smaller ones were carried delicately in the individual hands, the larger ones were led by a group of people towards the huge waves.

Life boats were floating to and fro guiding and setting the statues on the right track and ensuring their inability to return to the shores. They also assured the safety of the enthusiastic and ecstatic people who entered deep inside the water. The ardent adulation bestowed on the Almighty truly denoted the exuberant idol worship. This indeed makes one feel that Lord Ganpati is the real ‘Indian Idol.’

From evening till midnight and probably even up to the next day morning, the festive celebrations tend to prolong. All endings are also beginnings while looked at from both sides. While Ganpati Bappa arrives into the city, these ten days create a void in his heavenly home while we are on seventh heaven. There is a tinge of wistfulness, yet an eager feeling as the people look forward to the Lord’s visit the next year. Their bountiful joy explains the maturity of letting the adorable God return to his abode where he resides.

‘Visarjan’ is a manner of giving him a flamboyant farewell just as we give him a grand welcome. Rather than tears of sorrow, it’s the jubilant shouts of ‘Mangal Murti Morya’ that he wants to hear before he looks forward to his next visit, ensuring the spread of happiness all around while saying goodbye.
Written for www.msn.co.in

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