Ganesh Chaturthi … the festival always brings back fond memories of childhood. We used to enjoy the festivities, especially the evening aarti in the pandal close to our home in Belgaum. The community celebration is what made it so exciting perhaps!
The desire to be right at the front in the pandal, aarti recital by everyone present, the scramble to get hold of all the ‘prasadams’. As kids, we would struggle to hold everything in our tiny palms but still would not give up 🙂 After collecting the prasadam, we would compare what all we managed to get and what all we missed! 😀 Sigh!
The festival did not feel the same once we moved from Belgaum. And, I’ve longed to go to Belgaum during Ganesh Chaturthi but that has not materialised in all these years. I wonder if the festive spirit is still the same after all these years… its 30 years since we moved ..sigh!
This year, the festival also brought back other memories. Memories of my devout granma telling us stories of the various Hindu Gods, of how each one has a unique gift or strength. I do not recall all the stories that she narrated or a lot of the details, but I vividly remember a confused me asking her which God I should pray to ? 😀
Sensing the unease and turmoil in my lil mind, she’d said “It does not matter which God you pray to, but if you want to pray to just one God, let it be Ganesha ” I remember feeling relieved to hear those words! And thus, Ganesha became my favourite. The Ganesha Chaturthi celebration added to my fervour I suppose.
Despite all this, I somehow never started the ritual of bringing a Ganesha idol and doing poojas , visarjan etc. Our celebration includes an offering of fruits, flowers, modakas and a few other special items on Ganesh Chaturthi. The kids love the festival as they get loads of yummy food!
Each year, we wonder if Ganesha would be bored with the same old menu on his birthday. Maybe, we should offer pizzas and cakes next time, the kids say 😀
Each year, we ensure we make the modakas anyway! Who, in their right minds, would not want to gorge on modakas!! Both, the sweet and savoury versions are super tasty! And, we alternate between the two, unable to decide which one to stop at 😀 and we invariably end up stuffing ourselves to the brim. The tummy seems to protest, but who cares, when its modakas!
An interesting thing that we’ve noticed over the years is that we make modakas only during Ganesha Chaturthi! After gorging on modakas, we think that we should make it again shortly, but that never materialises. Its almost like we’ve had our share for the entire year and we actually come back to it only on Ganesha Chaturthi the next year… Does it happen to you too?? 🙂
Leaving you with a picture of this year’s pooja at home…