Mumbai’s favourite Lord, Lord Ganesha, is here. While the rest of the country celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi (the festival of Lord Ganesha) over just one day, Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra do not like to part with its beloved Lord in just one day. And hence the 11-day celebration.
The festival is in massive scale here. You’ve got to see it to believe it. But what is most endearing is the fact that it belongs to all. The rich and the poor, the followers and the converts, the believers and the non-believers, celebrities and the commoner. You will see Ganeshas of every size around you during these 11 days. Over the seven years that I have lived in Mumbai, I have come to believe (and rightly so) that Ganesha is Mumbai’s biggest leveller.
While Ganapati is not a big festival for the Bengali community, we have been hosting Ganesha in our house for the past 4 years. This was after a dream 4 years ago, when I saw that I was bringing home an idol of Ganapati from a river-side. There. I converted. He has been coming home since then.
There are designated for the idol immersion, called Visarjan in Mumbai. It may be noted that most house-hold Ganesh idols are immersed in one and a half days. Yesterday was the first day of immersion. From early evening, you will hear drums beating as families ready to immerse their Ganapatis. Once dusk falls, this reaches a crescendo. Needless to point out that the already stressed roads of Mumbai are a complete choc-a-bloc! But hey. Every now and then, you will notice members of the immersion party forming a human chain, trying their best to smoothen the traffic.
Personally, we love the reverence and energy that can be seen during the immersion days. If you live in Mumbai, do step out of your homes to see it for yourself. For, seeing is believing.
Leaving you with some pictures of Ganapati visarjan in Powai Lake on Day One.