Since several years, I have wanted to capture the images of Ganesha idols sold at RV road and during this Ganesh Chaturthi, I got that opportunity. It was a beautiful sight to watch various forms of the elephant headed God and the excitement in the people and kids to select one for their home. I have a hobby of collecting different types of Ganesha idols. The count is now 20.
Several nostalgic moments appeared; thinking of the childhood days when my mother would prepare around 6 varieties of Ladoo, Chakuli, Modka, Yellow coloured dosa and several other dishes.
Unlike in Bangalore, In Mangalore Ganesha is not placed in every house, since it is believed that doing so needs a very proper ritual to be followed. Only few families who have been doing this since generations follow it and are not supposed to stop it. At my cousin’s house, which is at a walk able distance from ours, they place Ganesha idol every year and we would go there for the pooja. My main excitement as a kid was to meet my two cousins Anp and Krish. Sitting by the road we would invent new games. Each person would choose a type of vehicle and while it passes by gets a point. With money received as dakshina during lunch, we would buy ice candy or chocolates. After lunch my cousins would come to our house or we would go to the beach.
This Ganesha festival, I was lucky to attend the pooja at one of my cousin’s house in Bangalore.
Every festival has a memory attached that makes it even more special....It is now I realize how much the festivals are part of we Indians; they are not just another ritual we perform but a pool of emotions, special, joyous moments we have lived and will continue living; it is a celebration of life.
No matter how much ever western we get, the festivals will bind us to our roots; our identity.