It is that time of the year when the city celebrates the elephant God coming home. It is the time the priests work over time because they are summoned by families to perform Pranpratishtha.
I have been hosting Lord Ganpati at my home for almost two decades but resisted the tradition of Pranpratishtha. I disbelieve that a human being holds the power to put life into an idol. So I bring the deity home as a friend and a companion. I’m always excited when I go to fetch him and like to believe that he is excited at the idea of coming to my home too.
I just know when I spot him that he is the one for me. He occupies the privileged position in my abode. I wake him up every morning with a lamp and chat him up while serving him breakfast, lunch and dinner.
He watches my routine, my life and I share my anxieties with him. By now he is familiar with all my friends and relatives and they seek his blessings like they would from a senior member in the family.
Unlike other friends I know, I don’t entertain him with blaring music all day. I don’t think he wants company all day too. Let us not forget that he is a writer and like all artistes needs his creative space. I provide him with paper and pen and we agree that we will do our respective writings. While I punch my routine stuff on the computer, my special friend writes destinies.
In between, we take a coffee break and share what we have written. In the ten days that follow, my companion becomes a part of my life and I’m heavy hearted when it is time for him to leave. I’m depressed when I feed him dahi-shakkar for a safe journey in to the rowdy, overcrowded ocean. I’m depressed when I whisper sweet nothings into his ear as he leaves my front door.
He does not express it but I know he is as sad to leave me and I have faith that he has heard my woes and absorbed my dreams and will make them all come true soon.
Walking to the ocean and immersing him into the water is the toughest thing to do. In moments he turns to ashes the one who was the focus of my life for ten days. When I come home, I cannot bear the empty space and I imagine him in every corner of the house.
In the night, I wake up suddenly, sensing he has come back and rush to check his throne. Is that the reason elders ask you not to clear his belongings till the next morning. I pacify myself that he will come soon and that another year is just 12 months away.
Now you know why we say ‘Ganpati Bappa morya, pudhchya varshi lavkaryaa…’
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