We live in truly troubled times there is absolutely no denying that. pardon my language, but it is totally messed up. what is weird is that we have be fairly accustomed to the twisted ways of the world and our definition of what is ‘normal’ has definitely broadened to include the conventional ‘abnormal’!
As the news gets grittier and more gruesome, our sensitivities gets hardier and more seasoned. Even the most shattering occurrence now gets acknowledged by a mere widening of one’s eyes. What to do? So much evil, so little time. Lick the wounds and get on with life...pronto. Time is money, honey!
So amidst all the horror, we continue to exist to the best of our sanities and whilst we hope for the greater good of humanity, we mostly just hope to see the next day, all goods in place!
I sound like I had a bad day?
Not at all.....quite the contrary actually. All I’m doing is saying it like it is...
Before you think I am all tainted and pitted, let me share my “happy moment” with you:
Faith is what keeps every one of us going. Religion is a classic example of “faith” and although I am not supremely ritualistic, I do like to pray and thank God every now and then. My basic philosophy is to believe in whatever makes you happy and to hope for the best, Inshahallah!
Its Ganpati time in Mumbai and I just love it! Over the years, people have gone all out, bringing in such crazy and whimsical Elephant Gods. I have seen BIG ones and little ones, movie star inspired ones (Titanic ganpati wins this category hands down!!!!), cricket cup ones, Himalayan ones (with super cold temperatures et all), Eco-friendly ones...and...the most powerful one, aamcha Lalbaug Cha Raja (LCR)!
My annual darshan to the Lalbaug Ganpati is the only pilgrimage I have made so far and This little ritual is very precious to me - the few seconds that I get, give me immense joy. It started close to 10 years with 3 of my girl friends. We all loved Ganpati dearly and these 10 days would be an absolute blast for us as we went from pandal to pandal and house to house, meeting him. It was Puja’s family relative who had organised our first visit to LCR. It was all rather exciting as the 3 of us gathered the family’s mithaai and farsaan shop at the foot of the gully, amongst the thousands of devotees that were in line! As we waited for the uncle to give us his neighborhood pass, we would watch the people around us in awe wondering how much devotion and passion they had to stand and wait endlessly in the lines...all for that one, brief sighting. What got to me then and continues to now, is the sight of new parents with their tiny little babies, all decked and bundled up by them, to offer to their favourite deity and pray for a full and prosperous life for their little one.
That tradition continues to this day, but alas, the mithaai shop no longer exists, so neither does that “community” pass. We have had to resort to other, “more privileged” manners of getting there (because there’s no stopping us now!).
Two years ago, I missed out on a particularly enthralling darshan, as the girls went as part of Himesh Reshammiya’s troop (wonder if they had to do any nasal sounds to make the cut?!). So it was the 3 of them, Himmy bhai, Raakhi Sawant and their cronies in a protected troop, marching their way in. Not only did they made it all the way to the stage, they also enjoyed a spontaneous jig from the awesome-twosome! Did they luck out or what?
However unfair and wrong it might appear for many, I don't feel that guilty about using these routes. We are a country of contradictions and un-equalities, and there is always a short-cut to be found. As long as I never do anything immoral or harmful to any one else to get somewhere, I am not riddled by guilt.
We got a midnight darshan yesterday. it was the first year that i had seen close to a lakh of people in the serpentine queues that went on for miles and miles...all the way down to Byculla. People were dressed up in their best, and the mood was upbeat and jovial. The best part was that the Raja is now set on the ground level and is accessible to all so everyone who made it in, got his/her up-close and personal moment with him.
I too, had the chance of a private tete-a-tete with him...I threw in my demands, and now await the Raja’s orders. Lets hope we attain a resolution!
Bolo, Ganpati Bappa Moryaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!