Monday, August 28, 2006
An Elephant Walk
Walking back home from the station, and I happen to live in a Maharashtrian dominated neighbourhood. That's why Ganpati is such a big deal here. The train was deserted, thankfully, it being past 11 pm, but as soon as I came out of the station, the lane was swathed in lights. There was a pandal with its lights just a couple of paces away, but I decided to turn away and head home. No sooner than I do so, though, did a small mound of a pandal rear up in front of me, relatively dark, and that's why I suppose I missed it at first glance. I peek into the dark pandal - a large Ganpati sat in repose, without illumination, just a hint of a red glow from one of the neon shop-signboards from across the street. Beautiful, I sighed, and then left.
Mumbaikars love the fairy lights that hang like tiny golden flowers from overhead for their decorations. The lane which leads to my house was draped completely by these tiny blinking flowers, top, right and left, and I couldn't hep but smile. Beautifully delicate. There was another chhotu lane here leading into the alcove where Ganpati sat in all his splendour - this time, completely lit up, a golden halo all over the pink pot belly, but I gew lazy, and decided not to venture in, and so continued on straight. I'm the perfect lazy disciple for the perfect lazy god. ;-)
I just went over to last year's Ganpati post, and there I'm cribbing about how strange Ganpati feels in comparison to Calcutta's Durga Puja... and look at me now. Now it's quite obvious that the two are different. That the two have their separate charms. Now I'm eager to see Lalbaug ka Raja in a way I never was last year, even though, I was much closer to the place then. Life is an open arc, screw the full circle!
But some things don't change after all: nostalgia, being one of them. While leaving my golden Ganpati pandal and walking on towards my building, I passed this group of poor-looking sods by the roadside talking loudly in Bengali. And I smiled: You'll always find us everywhere! I briefly flirted with the idea of going over there and asking, dada, durga pujo kobe, jaanen? (brother, do you know when Durga Puja is?), but I didn't. I'm still not that liberated. So I walked on, feeling happy for no apparent reason, walking away from the fairy lights, and quite determined to visit Lalbaug Ka Raja before the night is out.
Ganpati Aalaa Re!
Babu moshai u r blendingi n amchi mumbai finally...
FYI Durga pooja wil lstart somewhere aroung 29the sept my dear...
it was a well written post...
hie..! I couldn't stop myself from writing to u ...! I wonder if u have visited Lalbaugh Ka Raja...! I did so today .. from 7.30am-12.30pm in the 'never-ending' line ...!!
Let me know how ur experience was !
glad i came by here..bloghopped so to say.
Enjoyed reading this..
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