It's the morning after, and Mumbai's all danced out.
Yesterday was 'Anant Chaturdashi', the culmination of the 10-day long festival in honour of Ganesha, the elephant-headed , pot-bellied god. And Mumbai's favourite !
For Ganpati or Vinayaka , as he is also known, is the Remover of Obstacles, the Lord of Wisdom and Prosperity. A very powerful combination indeed.
Idols of Ganesha, made of clay or Plaster of Paris and exquisitely decorated, are installed and worshipped in homes with a lot of pujas and celebration .
Modaks, the favourite of Ganesha (and of everyone with a sweet-tooth), are almost always associated with this festival.
It's not just individual homes, whole localities pool in their resources and instal their Ganesha idol for the whole community. These idols are usually massive, and are installed in temporary structures called mandaps, which are ideally located at junctions and other vantage points.
The community mandaps are truly a sight to marvel at . Each one has a theme and is lavishly decorated.
After 10 days of worship, the idols are taken to a natural water-body, such as a river or sea, for immersion. This is a jubilant procession, filled with music and dancing. Loud, thumping drum-beats and cymbals give dancing feet to even the most lethargic.
They take the idols in the back of cars
or even on carts, but the sentiment and jubilation is the same.
Then there are the community idols... ! Huge, ponderous and awe-inspiring , these are carried on beautifully decorated trucks, accompanied by loud music and hundreds of worshippers dancing as if their feet will never tire!
Crowds of joyful celebrants dance for miles all the way to the immersion site.
Even heavy rain doesn't dim their enthusiasm one little bit! They only seem to dance even more energetically as they shout "pudchya varsha lavkar ya!" (which translates into "come early next year" ) to their beloved Ganpati Bappa.
Ganeshotsav may be celebrated all over India but nowhere with as much fervour as in Mumbai. It is Mumbai's own festival!
Take a look at this collection of photos from Times of India .
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