I know this is probably our third post on Ganpti and the entire Ganesh Chaturti festival (we did one last year as well), but it is probably because the festival holds so much importance. For me it was even more special because it is my first time actually witnessing it all! The craze from selecting which Ganpati to bring home, to daily aartis/pujas (prayers), street traffic (especially during the first and last day of the festival), to eating the yummy Modaks (traditional coconut stuffed sweets).
I actually didn’t bring Ganpati to keep in my house mostly because I had no clue what revolves around bringing him home. As my husband told me, you can’t just bring Ganpati home, you need to be prepared to hold daily pujas (which occur twice in a day), host lunches/dinners and take care of Ganpati. So I thought, why not just observe the festival this year and may be next year we can bring Ganpati Bappa to our house.
The most famous Ganpati, LalBaughcha Raja, sits in Mumbai, however Pune has its own infamous Ganpati and he is Dagdusheth. My sister-in-law and I decided that this would be the year we would wake up at 4 AM to go pay our respect to this infamous Ganpati and today we did just that! My husband thought we were insane to wake up (and take a shower-you can’t go to a holy place without being clean and fresh) at 4 AM. Now you may ask, why 4 AM? One needs to beat the crowds that line up to get a even brief sighting of the God.
We got to the central area where Dagdusheth sits around 5 AM and there were at least a 100 people there and more were on their way. We quickly got our puja thalis (puja plates that hold sweet, coconuts, and auspicious flowers) and stood in the line. Tight security ensured a swift moving line and within no time we were in front of the mighty Dagdusheth himself. His golden trunk, ears, and crown sparkled and made even him even more majestic. Myth says that if you rub the belly of Lord Ganpati, any wish of yours will become true. Now, we weren’t allowed anywhere close to Dagdusheth, but still made our wishes with blind hope of them getting fulfilled. What did I wish for? Well, I am bit superstitious when it comes to actually sharing my wish 😛
Modaks are synonymous with the Ganpati festival and I too wanted to try one. Unfortunately, the coconut stuffed Modaks weren’t ready by the time we finished our prayer, so we settled on eating mini Modaks. Visarjan (when people take their Ganpati idols and set him in the water) takes place next week and now I am even more excited to witness it.
Till then…Ganpati Bappa Moraya!