Ganpati Bappa’s dose of fun and bonding- Sep 19, 2012

I woke up Udai with ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya!’ this morning. And the first thing he said is “Why didn’t you take us to Goa this year for Ganesh Chaturthi?”. That stumped me and pleased me and brought the tears to my eyes all at the same time.

When I was a kid, I remember making the trip to Goa for Chavath only once. In my mind, it is a blur of song and dance, firecrackers and new clothes, glowing excited faces and noise. I don’t think I ever asked my parents why we didn’t go more often. I was very much embedded in my role as the cousin-who-lives-far-away, an outsider of sorts, a tourist in the family. I knew we did not have the means to travel every year and that it entailed my parent’s taking leave as they did not have vacations at this time of the year. Logistics ruled our lives and that was that.

This is a different generation; many would say more technologically oriented, with an ability to take rapid changes in their stride. A privileged generation, secure and able to make demands without compunction. But that’s not what made me feel all warm and glowing inside. I was amazed and gratified because Udai’s reaction exhibited his recognition of the family bond, enjoyment of rituals and festivities and the security that comes with the unconditional love and affection my kids have got from all our relatives in Goa.

And in the end, isn’t that what festivals are all about. The symbolism and even the details of how we celebrate may change from Christmas to Diwali, from Thanksgiving to Hanukkah to the Chinese New Year,  but festivals remain a means we employ to reinforce age-old systems, institutions and values like family, tradition, respect, love, faith, joy, etc. Myriad forms of expression, through art and craft, through elaborate culinary preparations often specific to the festival itself, make the occasion an opportunity to savor new experiences.

Last year, in Goa for Chavath, we got together to make a rangoli (pity, I don’t seem to have a picture of it), learning new techniques from older aunts, singing old songs together, laughing insanely at comic impersonations of characters from old Hindi films or family legends. What a good time, we had. Ganpati Bappa sat there presiding over all this frolic, a broad smile adoring his face. Now this is what I’m here for, we heard him mumble!

Here are a few pics from last year’s Chavathi celebration in St Cruz, Goa. Missing all of you cousins and kakas and kakis and above all, Ajjee, a lot today 🙂

Check out the smile!

Told you that the food gets rather elaborate- Here is an edible modak (favourite food) and unir (rat, Ganesh’s vehicle) in preparation!

Yum! Bhog being prepared for the pooja for Ganesh’s parents and sibling, etc to celebrate his birth!

Ajjee, giving someone instructions or regaling us with a story….

 

Aadyaa fascinated at a visit to the idol maker’s workshop! So many Ganpati Bappas 🙂

Festivals are for family bonding!! The cousin gang

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on September 19, 2012, in Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have pictures of the rangoli and I think even a video of the dancing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: