Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ganapati Bappa!

This post was written three years ago.As rediff refuses to display my old blog anymore, I am recycling the posts. I was also thinking about writing a post on my belief/relationship with this God, so this provides a good backdrop.Hmm. Posts every day of this week so far – just like when I first started blogging. Greetings of the season to all of you.

A return to the three century old, sprawling ancestral mansion, home to generations of family members, the birthplace of my father, now oddly forlorn, brightening up only on the two odd days of the festival, when the whole family comes back home…

A congregation of the entire clan- the elders slightly more gray and lined, the children suddenly taller, the aunts slightly plumper, the young men possessively sheparding their new brides, the new babies and their first brush with family history …

A time of relieving childhood, a time of reconnecting with the roots, a time of wistful nostalgia now always tinged with sorrow.

… the exchanged greetings with the extended kinfolk after a gap of a year (or several)…
… a walk down the photograph gallery, a reminder of people long gone by…
…the tulsi in the courtyard right in the middle of the house….
…the old teak reclining chair of a favourite grand uncle, now poignantly empty…
…perching on other granduncles knee while he loquaciously recounts tales of fathers/uncles exploits..
…the ritualistic trip to the room where they were born…
…the decorated Ganesh pandal at the end of one of the four sides of the inside courtyard…
…bringing in the Ganesh idol amidst fanfare and cheers…
…the actual idol, with the timelessly benign face…
…the struggles with the unaccustomed dhotis and nine yards saris before the puja..
…the smells of incense and camphor…
…the soft chimes of bells and incantation of chants…
…the assorted medley of modaks and other sweets…
…visiting the neighbours’ homes and the utter conviction that ours IS the best idol..
…out shouting the neighbours kids while singing (!) the aartis at their house…
…the exhaustive search for the rumoured secret passageways in the afternoon…
…catching up on life and gossip on the outside porch…
…the dusk bringing in the visitors …
…sparklers and fireworks in the evenings….
…tracing eight generations of the family tree …
…stories of restless ancestral spectres at bedtime…
…snuggling in with three of your cousins on a bed meant for two…
…the heavenly smell of parijat flowers and dew as you wake up….
…early morning tea sipped on the window seat …
…the distant melody of an aarti playing on an old stereo somewhere..
…exploring the attics and the childhood relics of our fathers…
…another session of aartis and pujas …
…the men complaining of yet another purely vegetarian day…
…the visits to the temple and the mandatory five Ganesh idols …
…the slightly heavy heart as evening approaches ….
…the final aarti of the idol before immersion….
…the village square with twelve Ganesh idols lined up in a row ….
…a night alight with fireworks …
…our erstwhile landlord family leading the final walk to the river…
…the air rent with “Ganapati Bappa” cries….
…peering over the bridge for the very last glance ….
…the unexpected tearing up of eyes at the final immersion ….

….a time to say goodbye…

….till next year!

10 comments:

Pinku said...

poignant.

memories are such funny things...

Trinaa said...

chweeeeeeeeeeeeett.. :)) nice cynic...i like :D

Red Soul said...

u kno wots funny. when its ganpati's first day, and kids sometimes by mistake sing "ganpati bappa morya, pudhchya warshi lawkar yaa"..... which is supposed to be sung on last day... which means "come soon next year"... I dunno if u maharashtrian or understand marathi!

AmitL said...

Hi,Cyn-this was lovely,even if it's a recycled post(I don't remember reading this one in your rediffblogs avatar)..You know,frankly,I often have dreams of going back to our ancestral home,having a get-together of relatives like we used to in childhood,going to the rooftop on Sankranti to fly kites,etc..but,too late-we sold the building,some time back.Sigh!!:)But,I'm inspired to do such a post,thanks to this post from you!!:)Tks!

Red Soul said...

Oh, you've written about Hartalika too! I had to do the fast too coz of my mom :) but I kinda broke it, = intolerance for hunger. And I swear I ate duppat-khashi kinda thing :P I almost had 3-4 meals lol.... when some normal days I dont even have 2 proper meals!

Sud said...

Brought back the old memories. Unfortunate thing is, for me those days are gone and they are not coming back

Cynic in Wonderland said...

pinku - yes indeed they are. i can still feel and smell some of the things - though its been years since i actually went there to stay.

trina - thankee

red soul - not maharashtrian but close. and married to one though. i guess its the thought of no food which makes one over eat hehe.

amit - i guess even if the building isnt there, the people are. so as long as the memories remains the place will remain as well. ok that sounded strange. but hope you know what i mean.

sud - im not sure i will get these back either. its a different lifestage altogether, and even if one could go back and go there, it still wouldnt be quite the same. such is life i suppose.

Scribblers Inc said...

woah!!that is NOICE!!

Scribblers Inc.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Very nice :) Must be emotional for you.

chandni said...

sigh!

a trip down memory lane for a lot of us...