On Ganesh Chaturthi, we talk to actors who find solace and spiritual connection in crafting their own Bappa idols and bringing him home on the auspicious occasion. They share their respective journeys of devotion, significance of Lord Ganesha in their lives, and how they have been celebrating the festival every year.
Among all the Gods, I feel I’m the closest to Lord Ganesha. I feel like he’s my friend. Ganesh Chaturthi for me means brotherhood. We’ve been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi for more than 40 years now, even before I was born. We generally bring Bappa home for five or 10 days depending on how long we can stay at home. Ever since my daughters were born, we have been making Ganesha using clay, and I teach them the importance of organic Ganpati. However, we couldn’t make it this time due to time constraints, but we brought home an organic idol. My mom makes all the mithais at home. My daughters get very emotional when Bappa has to go every year. They have a beautiful connection with him.
When I started sculpting Ganpati, I was really young. I used to observe a temple caretaker near my house in Pune, making idols for hours. I got fascinated and absorbed everything that he was doing. And then, I also started making the Ganpati idol on my own every year. For me, it’s therapy, and a fun process. I feel the calm in chaos. A lot of people have even started learning from me. There was a lack of time for me this year, so I made my idol much before. I celebrate Ganpati for one and a half days, and then do visarjan in a tub. It is a divine one and a half days as my family also comes in and we celebrate the festival together.
I live in a joint family, so we all attended a workshop to learn together how to sculpt Ganpati idols using clay. We taught the kids in the family about the importance of Ganesh Chaturthi, and other things about Ganpati, like why he has an elephant head or half tooth. In the process of making Bappa, we were able to spend time with all the kids in the house and tell them these stories. When we do visarjan in the beaches, it leads to killing the fishes. Therefore, we have been bringing eco-friendly Bappa home for four years. This year, I decided that I will not contribute to water pollution anymore. When we make something with our own hands, uss mein apne aap hi ek energy and pyaar aata hai. You get a chance to sit with your whole family, eat prasad, and dhol par dance karna! The vibe is exciting around this time. Jab Ganpati jaate hain toh feel hota hai jaise ek family member jaa raha hai.
We have been bringing Bappa home for many years now. It’s very recent that I started making the idol myself, and the feeling is absolutely incredible. The time, effort, and energy that you put in the whole process, is extremely special. It brings a lot of positivity and spreads happiness in the house. We bring Bappa for one and a half days. I make sure that my Ganpati looks cute. This time, I didn’t use any colour, because I wanted to keep it raw. Also, I believe one gets chosen to make your Ganpati, and I’d like to think I also got chosen. It is a spiritually divine process. For me, Ganesh Chaturthi is a celebration of love, positivity and bringing togetherness among your friends and family.