We had the most memorable Ganesh Chaturti this year. Preparations started nearly 3 days in advance. Shubhada (my neighbor) and I went to Gandhi Bazaar on Friday to do some street photography as the festive time makes the market place really colorful. As expected Gandhi Bazaar was in full bloom. I took snaps of vendors selling idols, flowers, mango/ plantain leaves, bangles, etc; soon they were all smiling at us and wondering if I was going to buy anything after all. I felt like a tourist in my own city.
I started shopping for the pooja along side. Soon I was clicking photographs along with balancing kilos of fruits and tall plantain leaves (which I was sure I would forget somewhere in the bazaar). Finally I bought flowers, mango leaves, plantain leaves, apples, bananas, chaklis- all at reasonable prices. I found a way to preserve these for 2 days. Plantain leaves (ones that we get for decoration, along with stems) can be placed in water. Mango leaves can be preserved by immersing them in a tub of water. Flowers can be kept fresh in tupperware dubbas. What a way to beat the inflation during festive times : )
Saturday I cleaned the house to set it up for the upcoming pooja and made laddus. I was very confused as to what laddus I should make. So I decided to come up with my own recipe. Thankfully, they came out well. I’ll blog about the recipe another time. A big thanks to Mayank for creating a suspension that served as the basic structure for the mantap. It was creatively done using table mats and baby’s building blocks. Next year we can use baby’s tent house I guess
Sunday- the day of Ganesh Chaturti, started with my baby singing ‘Happy Birthday to you’ to Ganeshji. It was the sweetest thing, I dont think I can ever forget it. Soon after that I started running about making Prasad and getting the pooja thali ready. Mayank and baby were making the mango leaves and rose strings to decorate the entrance of the house and the mantap. In an hour’s time our pooja was over and we all had prasad for breakfast. By then I was hungry enough to savor every bit of it.
In the evening we had family and friends over to our place for prasad. We had people come over from 4pm to nearly 9.30 pm making our evening really fun filled. I was so happy that almost everyone could make it. Festivals are really about spending this quality time with each other that you otherwise can not find.
Towards evening we noticed a pretty rainbow outside our terrace. One of the brightest I have ever seen. Wonder if there was actually a pot of gold at the end of it.