With Ganesh Charurthi just around the corner, our sources have been working overtime to get you a sense of the enthusiasm building at the Shiv Shankar household. Our reporters have been trying to reach Lord Ganesha for his take on the expectations he has from eager devotees this time around. Unfortunately, we have still not been able to establish contact with the god of the moment. However, we spoke to a few domain specialists who actually seem to know a thing or two about where Lord Ganesha might be.
“Well it’s easy to understand what is happening if you analyze the trends. We have been tracking Lord Ganesha since he was a small-cap god. Just see how the festival has evolved. From ek do teen char Ganpati ka jai jai kaar to 1,2,3,4 get on the dance floor – the music is getting louder and the lyrics are becoming more and more suggestive. There is no evidence to prove that the lord prefers sheila and munni to riddhi and siddhi. The festival was started to bring the society closer but these days schools and colleges remain closed and elders enjoy the long weekends sipping beer on beaches. Our analysis of both the retail and institutional segments has concludes that the Lord is not entirely comfortable with the new-age devotees,” said Mr Darshan. K. Raja who currently holds the record for completing the Lal Baug Cha Raja’s darshan in 6 hours 51 minutes flat. He adds, “The lord is highly considerate and cooperative. He must have decided to take time out and learn the raanti dance steps his drunken devotees pull off. This way he will be able to participant and make his followers feel good.”
In order to confirm the speculation in the market, our reporters approached Lord Shiva, father of Lord Ganesha, who was obviously exhausted from the month-long outdoor activities in shravan paksh and chose not to reply to our repeated WhatsApp pings. We now have reports that he is relaxing at his heavenly abode in Kailash Mansarovar, the only place where WhatsApp doesn’t work. We also had the opportunity to speak to Mr Kartik, Ganesha’s elder brother, who refused to comment unless he was given a mini festival of his own.
Fortunately, the breakthrough came from one Master Pakiya, who was overheard speaking to a fellow patient at a hospital where he is recuperating from the broken forearm. An injury he picked up during last week’s dai handi where he disguised himself as a adult only to fool the BMC officials. He was heard saying that Lord Ganesha has roped in his neighbor and best friend Lord Krishna as a choreographer. Krishna has of course proven his credentials as an unorthodox dancer. Ganesha specially call upon his friend for the Yo Yo Honey Singh songs, which are expected to be in demand this time. If Pakiya, who calls himself a Govinda, is to be believed, Lord Ganesha is putting in rigorous training to get the moves right. He however finds the lyrics so offensive that he has decided to practice with the music alone. Little ironic that, because he is after all Kirti (the lord of music) himself.
Sources close to Ganesha have also brought to his notice that some devotees, especially from the institutional sector, prefer to get sloshed during visarjan procession. They sought his ideas for curbing this practice. However, the benevolent god declined to intervene. Not surprising either, for he is Kripalu (the merciful lord) himself. Even in the past, Lord Ganesha has been known to considerate about the unrestrained parties and after parties that follow his immersion.
All of these mixed signals are also confusing the Lord. He is distracted and sometimes unable to live up to all of his 108 names, leading to a drop in the no. of likes. Mr Prasad M Modak, who has been an ardent Ganesha devotee said, “Lass yaar I do all the upvasis, do atharvashirsha mantras and even walked to Siddhivinayak two times without chappals. Gnpati still not make me englis teacher in englis medium school. I don’t believe him now.”
Meanwhile analyst Mr Darshan. K. Raja disclosed that he does not hold any personal interest in Lord Ganesha and that his observations were only academic, he added that he felt some pessimistic undercurrents. He said that “People are no longer interested in the rituals, prayers and peace associated with Lord Ganesha. Some pandals are set up to make a quick buck while several families are unable to stop, as they are worried about what the neighbors will think. The need of the hour is to go back to our roots and revisit the intentions behind starting the festival.”
Meanwhile, Lord Ganesha and his old devotee Late Mr Tilak have approached this writer to share this small message – “It is not about doing it right. It’s about doing it for the right reason.”