They say all good tasks should start with Ganesh Vandana. So after a long gap I am restarting my blog during the auspicious Ganesh utsav…and what better topic than the Vignaharta himself.

 I am not so much of a religious person. But if you ask me my favourite festival it is definitely Ganpati. It is probably the favourite for a majority of Maharashtra’s population. I often wonder what is so special about this festival that so many, so enthusiastically, forego their peaceful lives to be part of the commotion. What makes the elephant God such a loved deity?

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I think the sheer playful child-like image of Ganpati is in itself a big mesmerizing factor (Hats-off to the artist who first created the image or to the author who scripted the story of the elephant-faced God. Talk about “thinking out of the box”!!!). This very image allows humans to so fearlessly dress the Lord in the way they like. Just like a cute boy in a fancy dress competition, Ganesh willingly adorns whatever get-up his guardians wish to see him in. A traditional pheta or an intricately designed crown; decked with gold jewels or with a simple flower garland; Ganpati looks charming in all forms. What else, we love to see him in the avatar of other Gods as well (Krishna being more popular). Has any other God dared to dress up like his counterparts? But Ganpati is free of all worldly, and heavenly, boundaries. Guess what…I have actually come across a ‘cricket team’ of Ganpatis displayed at a handicraft exhibition. Only deep-rooted friendship can allow man to take such liberties. I think this very feeling of friendship (which surpasses mere respect), is what makes Ganpati special.

In midst of all the music and lights that surround Ganesh Utsav, what really astounds you is the flood of creativity. It flaunts itself everywhere, right from Ganpati idols to the thematic displays and the Lords costumes to the range of offerings. Take the modaks for example. It is amazing to see the varieties in which the same prasad can be prepared. Not surprising it is Ganpati’s favourite, no matter which avatar he has taken. Another gripping factor is the exemplary work of sculptors. Ever glanced at the eyes of Ganesh idols? It feels as if they are talking to you.  May be the God is actually showing his presence…enjoying every moment with his devotees.

 This year Ganesh Utsav holds a special meaning for me. It was for the first time that my little angel was introduced to Bappa and I pray that this new bond of friendship also grows stronger every year……………..Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya….