Don’t adjust whatever device you are reading this on, Its me, live, here to share my heart out.
Well, I mark an optimistic beginning of any auspicious occasion all round India, but in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai where people of different caste and religion dwell together, I am the harbinger of happiness, unity and harmony during Ganesh Chaturthi.
It is so overwhelming to receive so much of devotion topped with love from every individual and surprisingly also from atheist and people of different religion. You, my beloved devotees keep no stone upturned in serving me the best you could. My eyes dazzle with joy to see even the darkest corner of a shady Mumbai chawl light up during Ganesh Chaturthi. In these few days, I live the best days of the year.
Until the day comes when I have to bid goodbye to my devotees, the Visarjan. I get so dispaired, not only because it would leave my devotees heartbroken, but also because in the following days after the Visarjan, different parts of my body would sail away in different directions in different water bodies.
My limbs would swim their way back to the shore, my garlands would remain floating on the surface, my P.O.P body would sets down in the beds of the lakes blocking the flow of groundwater and my aching heart would sink down in the sea of guilt. Yet again, Varuna, the god of water would antagonize me as I dirty him and harm his aquatic diversity. But unfortunately, neither of us can do anything. We made humans and gifted them with abilities that now even we cannot monitor. You believe I made the earth, the trees, the water, the air and you only end up making me the reason for it’s destruction.
Not forgeting to specify my extravagance as the Lal Bagh cha Raja, as I sit back at the at the end of a very narrow lane to watch a human tsunami crush and injure each other for my one glimpse. I feel devilish the very moment. I am a celebrity there, loaded with expensive gifts and garlands of money. It is really appreciable of you dear devotees, but hey! I never asked for this, I am quite well off. I surely don’t need this more than a starving beggar, a malnutrition kid and a fund deprived NGO. I don’t need your sweat and blood to adore my humongous statues.
Did you know why Lokmanya Tilak initiated this custom of getting my idols home? He wanted to integrate people and not a hundred loudspeakers. He aimed to unite people against Britishers not Pandal against pandal . He wanted devotion to pave way to unity, not pollution. Indeed, it is wonderful that you still abide to the customs of Ganesh Chaturthi. Your brimming love and devotion is enough to satisfy my heart.
If you truly want to prove the strength of your devotion towards me, get my eco friendly idols made out of mud or clay that could easily dissolve in water without Varuna infuriating on me. Just dip my idol a few times in water as an obligation to the ritual and take my idol back home and restore your family’s smile. Don’t drain your bank account to celebrate me again next year, let me be with you throughout the year. Let Ganesh Chaturthi be throughout the year. Let the Earth, I made remain green. Let the water breathe, let my creation live. Let me remain the harbinger of happiness and not destruction. Just let me be.