Yesterday, a couple of the fathers in the apartment went out to buy a Ganesha, along with a group of children. Ganesha entered our apartment in a car, to the shouts of ‘Ganpati Bappa Moriya‘. Bubboo was all excited to see this, and has been saying ‘Ganpati Bappa Moriya’ since last night.
The ladies in the apartment have made lists for a week now, dividing chores, choosing menus, buying groceries. They have ensured that there will be prasadam offered to Ganesha every morning, a light dinner for the apartment dwellers the first two nights, followed by a grand dinner the third night. It is going to be a potluck kind of thing, with every family coming up with one dish or the other on whatever days they can. I am in charge of the lemon rice tonight.
The men of the apartment have cleaned up the party hall, spruced it up with a coat of paint, decorated it with paper lanterns and colourful tissue paper, booked a priest, and bought all the paraphernalia necessary for a Ganesha havan. They have also made budgets, collected money from all those apartment dwellers who are willing to contribute, meticulously maintained accounts, and allocated money for all the little chores happening around the apartment for the festival.
The kids in the apartment have been busy practicing their dance moves, speech, drawing and painting. On all three days, the little champs will be performing something or the other in front of the other parents and kids.
Like last year, this year too, we are hoping Ganesh Chaturthi will be lovely get-together, where we get to know our neighbours better and taste dishes from different parts of India. We are hoping to see the glow on the little ones’ faces as little prizes are handed out to them for exhibiting their talents so bravely.
I love how Ganesh Chaturthi is a communal celebration here, more than just a family thing. I love how the celebrations have a very personal touch to them, rather than being just another impersonal apartment association thing. I love how the little champs, thanks to the performances, are comfortable talking about anything and everything to other kids and parents alike. I love how there is a buzz in the air around the apartment, and how all of us will actually feel sad after the Ganesha immersion, a rarity in these times when festival celebrations have become a mere namesake. I love how the men and women in the apartment feel free to talk to each other, help each other in any chore from vegetable chopping to plating up dishes. I love how everyone takes up responsibilities of their own here, small and big, and fulfills them. I love how we are all learning and imparting life lessons to our little ones, even as we have fun. I am so very glad Bubboo is a part of this, that is getting to see festivals celebrated this way.
How are the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations going to be this year for you all, folks? I hope you will have a lovely day, too!