Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi was a lovely affair to remember this year. 

I had not planned on celebrating initially, but my mom's help called and offered to buy a lovely petite Ganesh idol and flowers and the famous Durva grass for Him. She came over a day prior and off we went shopping at the Thiruvanmiyur market place. This was my first time and it was a chaotic choice. It seemed the entire city had descended there for the joyous celebration. We bought fruits and veggies, all Rs 10 a packet. The entire shopping experience was wrapped up in under INR 350, while I would have spent more than twice the amount in other swanky places like Pazhamudir Cholai. I decided henceforth to visit the market on weekends and stock up for the following week.

The previous night, I spent hours scouring through recipes and dreamt about the big day through the wee hours of the morning. The day had arrived. I had asked my help to get home a little earlier than noon since the main worship had to be completed by 1:00 AM. The menu included sundal, thengai payasam, fried modakam, vadai, lemon rice, fritters and of course rice and other side accompaniments. 

To add to the charm, one of my nib-paintings of Ganesha, which was lying idle at the dining area, found its rightful place at the festivity. He became the centrepiece around which the specials of the day were organised.

The payasam made with fresh grated coconut was a show stealer. It was a new recipe and the success of the dish made it grander. 

Technology has shrunk the world and we pretty much as world travellers in that sense - you can connect to any place, anyone and any time. My mom joined the celebrations over video and chanted the mantras, while my nephew added the music. It was a lovely family affair. My nephew loves all the drama and has his own ritual to perform in the pooja room. So while I did the rituals here, he ran to the prayer room to get his prayer bell and began chanting. It was such fun celebrating the occasion with the little one.

In the evening I went to the Ganesh temple to offer prayers and later to my cousin's house to take her mother's blessings. 

All in all, it was a blast!

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