Wednesday, September 3, 2008

ENTER THE ELEPHANT-HEADED GOD

Well, once again it’s Ganpati-season in Mumbai. Festive notes waft briskly (is that an oxymoron?) in the air, both the musical kind and the monetary kind, because most Indian religious festivals are all about display. And then, Ganesha is THE GOD OF ENTERPRISE, be it FINANCIAL (ALL CAPS AND IN BOLD PLEASE, WE’RE IN MUMBAI – COMMERCE CAPITAL OF INDIA) or otherwise (fine print only, please, for those foolish enough to have non-financial ideals and enterprises…or should that be enter-prices?).
Back in Kolkata, the main festival is the four-day Durga Puja, which means a four-day long holiday. No work (except to eat, talk, roam and dress up to your heart’s content), and all play (in all its different connotations, including the flower-fragrance-redolent, goddess-blessed, drumbeats-in-the-backdrop pandal-flirtations).
But in rushed-and-ready brisk-and-busy Mumbai, though Ganesha visits us for over ten days, we have a measly two-days off. I guess that’s how it should be, because the portly deity is a shrewd business-fellow, and would perhaps only bless the industrious. So it’s work as usual, with a holiday at each end, fitting in a hectic twirl of mandal-hopping in the evenings between frantic-work-day and exhausted-night-sleep.
So different from indolent, lotus-eating (and currently Singur-shamed) Kolkata! Where there are potbellies (and potholes) galore (well, that is also the case in Mumbai), but which seems to have been sadly neglected by the otherwise-benign Gajanana and his devotees.

6 comments:

sukku said...

Oh I remember the festival where the final day is about immersing Ganapati and each year the statues get larger and larger...

Koel said...

I was also very eager to check out Ganpati festival in Mumbai once I moved there......But was a little disappointed - it just cant compare to Durga Puja in Kolkata, even in other cities like Delhi for example....its much more grand

Sucharita Sarkar said...

@ sukku,

this year, though many mandal are going the eco-friendly way with smaller, greener idols.

@ Koel,

Thanks for visiting my blog. and I do agree that the Durga idol and pandal offer more aesthetic pleasure, though the devotion of the mumbaikars cannot be faulted.

tina said...

i'd always wondered what ganesha was the god of... ^^ hmmm, maybe he believes that long celebrations aren't cost-effective? :)

Sayani said...

i enjoyed a lot during my stay in nagpur :) it something chained with nostalgias i guess.

but i wonder where are the days when puja meant to be a month long preparation ...about sandhya arti, about those "kali patka" (hail to the sound pollution)

and btw it was a great name for the poem ...thank you
take care :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

tina and sayani,

it is a very credible idea because ganesha is the god of industry as well as intelligence. so he'd definitely approve of cost-effectiveness.