Ganesh Chaturthi holds a very, very special meaning for me. It’s no surprise to my friends here that most of my life has been spent in Mumbai…and to have grown up surrounded by Bappa, is not a feeling one can forget. Nor do I intend to. Here, Ganesh Chaturthi is not much of a festival, as it is in Maharashtra, hence to do a puja at home was a very ambitious challenge. But I was hell-bent that this year, Bappa would visit my humble abode, and that I would do my very best to deliver my respects to him.
My memories of Mumbai are fresh, like it was just yesterday that I was celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in my apartment complex. Our society used to (and still does) organize a five-day Ganpati festival within the complex itself. We kids would be the ones to arrange everything, aided by our older friends who had been in charge back when they were out age. Even though schools and colleges there have just a one-day holiday, the festive spirit would be with us throughout the five days. I remember rushing through homework after school, so I could rush downstairs before evening arati…and then, there would be soooooo many varieties of prasad! There would be ‘Housie’ (Lotto or Tambola) after dinner, late into the night. Ohhh the flood of emotions the memories bring.
I guess that was partly my reason for wanting to have my very own Ganpati puja at home. I have always believed that if you pray with all your heart, and faith, no deity will be displeased; the thought that led me into marching head-on into the unknown. And while I know the Ganpati Vandana by heart, I had not a lot of idea about the rituals. So, with my parents constant support and blessings of friends and well-wishers, I have done my very own Ganpati Puja at home today.
I am immensely grateful to Bappa for letting me bring him home, and this year, I have made a small Naivedya thali for him, all home-made (except the fruits of course 😛 ) aided and abetted by my parents. And today also being Teacher’s day, I am doubly grateful and thankful, not just to my teachers and professors, but also to the two teachers who gave me life – Maa and Baba 🙂 thank you for helping me, standing by and supporting me through everything!
Here are the items I made: (warning..except the lemon rice, everything is my first attempt, especially the modaks and karanji that are all handmade with moulds..pardon their terrible shape)
Rava Modak (with coconut-jaggery filling)
Fried modak (same filling)
Karanji (khoya, coconut, jaggery, dry fruits)
Motichoor laddoo and
Panchamrut and fruits…(the pomello has been sent my grandaunt and is from her tree)
I shall be uploading recipes in the coming week for some of these dishes. I’m so glad that I was able to make what I wanted, even though they’re not the prettiest to look at 😉 May Ganpati Bappa grant all of you with happiness and peace, and remove every obstacle. I hope he brings a change in us, inside us, helps us love and accept one another more….and make this world a better place.
GANPATI BAPPA MORYA!