Ganpati Bappa Moriya

Is not so appropriate that I land up in the city that reveres my favorite deity, Ganesha? I have that special thing for Ganapati? something that is less to do with religion and more to do with faith.

Anyway, we are in the middle of celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi here at Pune? the annual rite when the city bedecks itself for the annual Pune festival. 10 Auditoriums, 10 days and more than a 100 performances and all free for the general public? guess there are reasons why they call Pune the cultural capital of Maharashtra?.

So last Saturday, me and her chucked away all worries of pending emails, unplanned finances and our in general cluttered life and escaped to Panchatatva?

The show had the great great Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia?. Do I need to say anything here ?

U ?Mandolin? Srinivas? heard him the first time at the Good Old Public Gardens at Hyd? blew me away then.. and did so again this Saturday

Selva Ganesha, was good to hear him again, last time he played with Zakir hussain on the Tabla, On Saturday, he was accompanied with a guy called Vijay Ghate? a talen from Pune?

And then there was Taufiq Querieshi on the drums and Ustad Rashid Khan for Hindustani vocals?.

For three hours, I forgot about the potholed roads or lousy jobs, or that I do not talk to her as much as I want to, or that I spend more time staring at my computer console than sitting across the table with her?.. almost

Well things could not have been better, till Pt Jasaraj took to stage for the conclusion? unfortunately he did not sing.. but I was happy to have just seen him on stage?.

Before I am through with this world, I have to hear Pt Ravi Shankar play the Sitar, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan strum his Sarod? and maybe then I will die a satisfied man

I met all the folks in my society when we installed a Ganesha in our compound? and I suddenly found friends in a city which till now had me and her wallowing in our splendid isolation?

I have the Ganesha Idol at my home? wrapped in Pink and swathed in incense smoke? gaze benign and the hands gesturing an all forgiving benediction. The thought of taking him to the river for immersion is not a pleasant one at all.

But I guess this is what festivals are for? to pause and take stock of what has gone by? Ganesha will leave my home on Saturday, only to return again once a year is through.

It?s a funny feeling and I will not attempt to describe it?. Though I must say, the corner of the house which he occupied for the last 10 days, will seem terribly empty without him?..

“Ganapati Bappa Moriya”, Pudhachya varshi lavkar ya” (Return early next year, oh Victorious Lord Ganesh).

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