Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ganpathi Visarjan*

Bidding goodbye is never easy. Specially if the departing guest is Ganpathi, the roly-poly Elephant-headed God.

In hired trucks or cradled in arms, the idol is taken in joyous processions to the sea for immersion. There is music and dancing. Bright sarees and fashionable clothes. An old woman shows the younger ones how to shake a leg. The young lovers surreptitiously exchange smiles.

But beneath the smiles, there are tears. After being a part of their lives for ten long days, Ganapathi is going back home.

"Ganpathi Bappa Morya. Pudhchya Warshi Luakar Ya. Oh Lord Ganpathi, come again speedily next year."

drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

*Visarjan - ceremonially immersing the idol in a river or the sea, symbolising the ritual see-off of the Lord towards his heavenly abode. More Visarjan photographs here.

And October is NaBloWriMo- the National Blog Writers' Month. If you are willing to commit to one post a day, everyday, during the month of October, what are you waiting for? Hop across to NaBloWriMo and follow the directions to sign up for the coolest thing in blogdom.


Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - I love the 'photo! And thanks so much for sharing this festival with us. Every time I visit your blog, I learn something so interesting! You give us all such wonderful glimpses of life in your part of India; I feel I'm getting to know not just you, but also your home, and I love it!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Thank you, Margot. Even as I write this, I can hear the music (the theme of Come September is one of the most popular, go figure). One kid wants to watch, the other doesn't. I am trying to manage expectations, because it is not safe for the kids to go alone and watch.

Clarissa Draper said...

WOw, a lot of celebrations going on right now. Do you get time off for the events?


Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Clarissa - there are so many festivals, if we got time off for them all, we would do no work at all. But yes, this particualar thing disrupts traffic very badly, so offices close early (and schools give a day off).

LTM said...

how fun! (Or is it really sad?) Does he come back in 10 years? Are the little ones sad? I know if I was little, he'd probably be my fave~ :o)

Barbara said...

I love festivals of any kind. Am in awe at the variety and grandeur of the ones you describe.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

This festival sounds like a visual treat! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Leigh - it is fun. We just got back after seeing the processions, and it was a visual treat.
And he comes back every year- you think Indians would wait more than that for a celebration?

@ Barbara- yes, festivals are mega size in India.

@ Elizabeth- I am posting a couple of pictures I just took- don't do justice, but good enough.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Hi, Rayna. I took my students on a tour of drabbles - now they are writing them. Right now.

They love the ones about "Brown Thumbs" and "Flickering Images" and "Friends".

Thank you. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wish we had celebrations like that. Well, we have Mardi Gras, but that's anything but spiritual.

And I'm ready for NaBloWriMo as well!

slommler said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful festival.

Jemi Fraser said...

WHat a lovely celebration!

Mason Canyon said...

The festival sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing. It's fun and interesting learning about traditions and festivals from you.

Thoughts in Progress

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Shannon- thank you so much. Feels really good to know that people you don't even know are reading something you wrote. And I am so glad you are getting your kids addicted to drabbles- it is one of the best writing exercises there is.

@ Alex- Mardi Gras is a lot more fun, I would think. But yes, this is a unique blend of spirituality and fun. Of happiness and sadness.

@ SueAnn - and thanks for coming along on my festive ride.

@ Jemi- it is great fun

@ Mason- there are a whole bunch of photographs for you on my other blog. And thank you.

Plain Jane said...

Neat picture...and I learned something. That is one thing I love about the blog world...people with such different experiences than mine.

Cruella Collett said...

One day I am visiting you in India, and I will make sure to schedule it for festival season. Your reports from it are wonderful, Natasha :)

Tabitha Bird said...

Great photo. India is such a colorful place!

Karen Walker said...

How lovely, Rayna. The colors are so vibrant in your country. Love that!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jane- that is the most wonderful part of the blog world, isn't it? Meeting people so different from ourselves.

@ Cruella- practically every time is festival time. Except the summer. So you are in luck!

@ Tabitha- thank you, and yes, it is.

@ Karen- India is a visual cacophony of colours.


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