Of the tens of thousands of Gods, India’s favourite God is the one who is anticipated, awaited the most part of the year, Ganesh Chaturthi! When that time of the year is fast approaching, people start dancing around in the entire country and also in various parts of the country. Chorus loud cheers of “गणपति बाप्पा मोरया | मंगल मूर्ति मोरया|” (Ganapati Bappa Moraya! Mangal Murti Moraya!– Hail Lord Ganesha! Hail the Auspicious Lord!). The entire country is aptly washed by the monsoons and purified for the 11 days of the most auspicious celebration. This is one of the very few festivities where the country comes close to each other, irrespective of cast, creed, age and any other bias to make the short vacation of their Dearest Bappa the most memorable.
Various groups and societies come together to celebrate and also make most of the opportunity by organising competitions and making cash prizes available. But then all good things must come to an end. A well fed and loved chubby little answer to every problem, VighnaVinashak, LambUdar has to leave our company to go back home. With heavy hearts, and tears brimming we come to the nearest water reservoir which is seemingly the gateway to bappa’s home. We handover our beloved little one to a complete stranger who is a better swimmer than us to accompany him en route. Even now we are singing loud cheers of “पुढच्या वर्षी लवकर या” (Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar ya!) and “पुनरागमनायच!” (Punaragamanayacha– Come back soon the next year!
This year, on the 09th day of celebrations, me and my parents decided to visit the beach. And I was greatly inspired to organise an impromptu best Ganesh competition. Following are the images of the participating Ganesh Murtis. However due to limitation of the number of competitors, or due to incomplete entries, we were unable to admit all participants. Nonetheless, we have taken into account as many as we could!
Not only were we bummed in deciding the top winner, I would want to take an audience poll on this! Why has this fate fallen upon the writer of our fate? Are we seething some kind of vengeance for the terrorism? For the floods, the tsunamis? How difficult is it for us to maintain the faith and avoid such horrendous sights? I not only blame the municipal corporations for not cleaning up, but also the millions of Ganesh Bhakts around the world. Is this how we treat our favourite and the most loved? Leave him to ‘rot’ – figuratively and literally! (and we do justice to the statement ‘atithi devo bhava’ – ‘A guest is an equivalent of God,’ while treating terrorists!) Not a hypocrite, looking at this appaling sight, we have decided to get a Metallic Ganesh murti from henceforth for our love and care, which will stay with us throughout without any water reservoirs involved in the celebration. Most families have already adopted such solutions to this issue. Humans not only pathetically treat fellow humans, but now celestial beings as well! What an embarrassing and sorry state we are in! Leaves us absolutely dumbstruck and speechless!
I don’t even feel we are worthy of the privilege of such a Gracious guest visiting our homes, do you?