Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Mounds of chrysanthemums waiting to be shaped into garlands. Milk, coconut and cardamom bubbling together in a large vat, the air getting sweeter by the minute. The last minute run to the shops. Sidestepping puddles. Staring defiantly at the sky hoping the rain would abate till the shopping had been done. Dawdling at the displays to see the giant cut-outs. Guessing games with friends to decipher the theme of the Ganesh decoration display around the corner.

Gathering the 21 vegetables needed for the special offering after the puja. Ticking off items on itty-bitty lists. Incense sticks. Young mango leaves. A kitchen overflowing with food and cheer. Piles of red hibiscus flowers from the front garden. The sizzle of puris being deep fried. Lata’s divine voice on the radio, the TV, the neighbourhood speakers singing melodies that defined the season – and still do after two decades and more.

The sound of fire-crackers. Of late ‘aartis’. The late night jaunts in a hired rickshaw to see the displays around the town.  The afternoon siestas after a heavy meal. Sleeping through firecrackers. Relatives. The general din. Waking up to eat more of the lunch left-overs. The twinkling silhouettes of lights across homes and street corners.

Baked karanjis await in the oven. Lata’s songs are playing in an endless loop on my laptop. The air is thick with incense. And soon I am about to go look for red hibiscus blooms.

A part of my heart is back home. The other part of my heart realizes with flooding and overehelming relief that home is a memory away. Ready to be beckoned at will. The more I travel, the more I know the road back to where I came from.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi. May the paths you choose have obstacles that can be easily vanquished.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: World Wide News Flash
  2. Poornima
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 16:35:32

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi Scarlett!

    Reply

  3. Altoid
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 20:04:34

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi S! Much love and hugs to you and A
    -altoid

    Reply

  4. Rajavel
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 02:21:50

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi !

    Reply

  5. Gauri
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 10:00:20

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you too, Scarlett.

    Hugs

    G

    Reply

  6. IW
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 17:56:31

    Ganpati Bappa Morya.. 🙂

    Reply

  7. Captain Nemo
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 19:57:58

    Happy Ganesha Chaturthi to you and A too… I hope you had a good time.

    Nice blog, brought back memories of old times when these fests used to big at my place…

    Reply

  8. scarlettletters
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 09:45:32

    Thanks everyone. I hope you are having a lovely festive season too 🙂

    Reply

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