Friday, September 14, 2007

Ganpati Bappa Moraya

-By Swetha Amit
It’s that time of the year again, where millions in the maximum city are awaiting their divine guest with great zest and eagerness. Mandals along with decorations and festive items are all over the market places and are hurriedly being purchased by several. There seems to be a strange yet transcendental buzz in the air.

Yes, Mumbai’s favorite God has arrived once again to bestow his bountiful blessings on his ardent devotees; embarking the beginning of the popular festival ‘Ganesh Chathurthi’ celebrated in Maharashtra and in South India. The exuberant and elated Mumbaikars look forward to this 10 day visit by their holy visitor and get ready to pamper this adorable elephant- faced God.

It has become a culture in every colony and residence to celebrate this festival with great pomp and splendor. Bringing in joy, a sense of unity is developed as they get ready to fold their hands humbly before the Almighty.

They pray hard to offer a token of appreciation for all what is given and also beg their pardon for their unintentional misdeeds. His omnipresence leaves them to encounter a strange feeling of being in seventh heaven as each one of the days is spent in offering him his favorite delicacies-"Modaks", guavas and other sweets. Music and other performing arts form a part of these ten day festivities, seemingly to entertain the Lord.

It is indeed pleasant to see the otherwise hurried Mumbaikars not failing to devote time to their much loved deity irrespective of their busy schedules. Proximity towards divinity is attained in these ten days and the feeling of Ganapati almost being like a distinct family member set apart in en’lightment’ is experienced. No sooner than they get used to their idol guest than the time has come to say goodbye. This is the custom of ‘Visarjan’ on the tenth day where the Lord gets ready to depart to his abode.

The sea portrays a queer restlessness as they get ready to accommodate the elephant faced God in his journey. The half hearted Mumbaikars get wistful about bidding farewell and it certainly isn’t an easy task to say goodbye with respect to anything/anyone is it?

These feelings can be drawn parallels to when a beloved relative/friend visiting from far for a long period gets ready to take leave of us. A tinge of sadness is bound to engulf all as we realize a peculiar void in our homes.

Many accompanied with their families gently carry the little God in their hands and get ready to see him off. The beaches are swarmed with crowds of zillions from evening to midnight. Very reluctantly they place the deity on the sea shore waiting for the cascade of waves to do their part, feeling a wave of emotion as they do so.

The impatient and restless waves however disrupt their thoughts as they seem to say ‘let go’. At the same time they get the telepathic signals from the Lord who reassures of his return next year. The sinking sun depicts their sinking hearts as they watch the idols wave goodbye. It equals to watching a near and dear one on a train constantly as it slowly chugs away gently with a departing yet cheerful whistle.

Sometimes the statues are washed ashore and are found strewn about the next morning. Maybe its nature’s way of sensing our unspoken desire of hoping that the Almighty graces his presence for just one more day. Or perhaps our half hearted effort fails to see him off in the middle of the ocean which does not give even a slight chance of a return.

Several aspects are learnt in this yearly spiritual quest. It is always blessed to give and giving provides that wonderful delight which ironically isn’t experienced to a large extent when we are at the receiving end. Blind folded faith placed accompanied with earnest prayers is always rewarded only with the probability of its effect occurring over a span of time, if not immediate. Doing anything whole heartedly certainly bears fruit.

Well good things always come to an end for a short while only to come back again with equal amount of grandeur and radiance. One can be rest assured of getting numerous more opportunities to chant ‘Ganpati Bappa Moraya’ along with the dazzling crowds yet again at the same time the following year.
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