3rd september, tuesday: For 2 years I have been living in Bombay (sorry it’s Mumbai!) yet have never realised that how steadily I have developed an affection towards the city. Life is a hell lot hectic here but still mumbaikars never miss the chance to celebrate any festival irrespective of the religion, caste or culture. Personally, I enjoy the zest with which they celebrate the festivals, whether it’s navratri with dandia night, onam with celebration of exotic south Indian food, Janmashtami with dahi handi (Krishna leela), Christmas, or their very own Ganesh Chaturthi.
This year I have been finally privileged to receive the blessing of Mumbaicha Raja. Although entire Maharashtra is covered with the aura of bappa morya ( Lord Ganesha), Lalbaghcha Raja has its own air. For last two years I had been thinking to push myself in the long queue to feel the celebration that is so vast , so grand and at the same time very pious.
Finally this year on 6 th day of the celebration I started for Mumbaicha Raja ( Mumbai’s king) at 4 a.m from my place accompanied with my office colleagues; and really that 70 minutes drive to Lalbaugh was fun. Although all of us were half asleep but office gossips never get over. With all the chit chat we finally reached the door for the darshan. I must tell you, though it was a working day but the crowd over there!! Everyone was prepared to pull themselves straight to their cubicles after the Bappa Darshan. Meanwhile the unpredictable Mumbai’s rain started. That slight rainfall anyhow was a blessing at that time. As we expected the queue was not that long, given our timing. Usually it happens to be 5 – 8 hrs drive, sometimes even 2 – 3 days long.
In the slight rainfall ” Ganpati bappa morya , Mangal Murti Morya!” was echoing. Every eye in the crowd was straight to the last spot on the path searching for a glimpse of Bappa; And yes! I finally managed to have a glimpse. That feeling is a bliss really. Everyone took out the cameras to record at least one image of Bappa this year.
God is there or not; it’s all upon faith. I felt serenity in the air, calmness in my mind when I had an eye to eye contact with the huge elephant god. I was so timid in front of him…Although I can’t say that those two seconds of interaction were enough; but yes they were enough to the mark the rest of my year with his blessings. In minutes we evacuated the place, as we were followed by thousands of people behind us by then. But I was happy… as if I have achieved some target, and certainly it was no less than a target to have the Bappa Darshan in less than an hour during Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai.
Filled with energy we moved towards our pavilion. Office , of course is not fascinating, but in spite of getting at 3.00 a.m in the morning, I was wide awake throughout the day and filled with energy and enthusiasm.
He left the city after 10 days but I am sure next year when he will return I will again carve for those calm and serene eyes of lord.