Ganesha comes home.
I still remember the winter of 1996 when I was shopping medicines for my ailing mother. The street was buzzing with Ganpati bappa mor ya and on an impulse I said if my mother survives the dark night, if I don’t take her to the hospital again I will celebrate this festival as long as I can. My mother was not confident of my undertaking this massive responsibility and advised I experiment with the existing idols at home for a few years before making commitments to the elephant God.
For the coming three years I spotted a specific idol allotted a specific space and worshiped him with regular puja morning and night for 10 days after which my driver, Pramod, a veteran with Ganesh God would immerse the idol into the sea.
In 1999 I had exhausted all the idols at home and immersed them into the sea and in 2000 my mother passed away in her sleep. In 2001 I had changed job and was returning late evening from work when I found a man holding a small stall of Ganesha idols.
Next morning was Ganesh Chaturti, without thinking I stopped the car and picked a small idol.
My mother had gone but God had arrived home to bless me and has been coming ever since.
Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya