Growing up in a Gujarati Brahmin household HIS presence was always there in my life.
But the moment we both connected was in 1992. That was the year I met & fell in love with the man who is my husband today. And as we stood together doing Aarti at his aunt’s house ;Like any young girl newly in love I was praying that all would be well in our relationship & I felt an unknown pull, a connect which seemed to tell me that HE was listening to my prayers.
And subsequently every year I would stand in front of HIM & pray for love & happiness. Life still was full of ups & downs but my Faith in HIM & other beliefs helped me to ride every storm.
One such year as I had stood there doing Aarti I had taken a mannat (vow) that I would bring HIM home when I got married. And so that one time HE came to our house in the 1st year of my marriage in 1999. It felt beautiful & right & holy & spiritual.
Many years passed after that & HE has retained his special place in my temple & my heart.
2008 : My 6 year old daughter came home the day before Ganesh Chaturthi demanding to know why we weren’t getting Ganu home ?? My brother in law had been bringing him home since many years & she had just come back from their house where all the preparations were in full swing. This had excited her & she wanted all that festivity in her house too 🙂
So like any indulgent parents we decided to bring HIM home that year. Off we rushed to choose the Murti , the decorator was called, sweets, flowers & fruits ordered, friends & relatives invited & we were ready to welcome HIM home 🙂 And somewhere in our hearts we were glad that she had insisted we bring HIM home because we wanted to have his presence in our house too. We loved the festivity & the fervour that went on for these 10 days.
And I always felt a deep sense of gratitude when I stood in front of him. During the 1st Aarti I’d inevitably get tears in my eyes.
And so it went on … Year after year HE came to our house … From 1.5 days we started keeping his idol for 3 days & the scope of the whole thing kept increasing. It was an endless flow of people, food, preparations & then suddenly one year I felt that I has lost my connect with HIM because I was too busy with the peripherals !
When I mentioned this to my sister in law who is more religious than me & has been having HIM at home way before we started… she said “We are so busy with everything that I couldn’t have a conversation with my GOD !
That’s when it struck me … We’ve made this into a big social event ! And somewhere stopped having a conversation with HIM.
I could only sit in front of HIM late at night & feel connected. The day just went by in a blur & no it’s not that we didn’t love it. It’s just that we wanted something else…
Of course we all know that it wasn’t meant to be a religious festival it was started by Lokmanya Tilak to facilitate larger gatherings of people without invoking the suspicion of the British.
And so forth & so on. Yet it’s become this big huge event with people saying “oh my gosh I have so many places to go” & the ones who have HIM at home are constantly busy with all the social activity.
And so in 2015 we stopped celebrating Ganeshotsav…
He was in our Mandir & our prayers all year round… just not doing the whole rituals.
But they say na God works in mysterious ways.
This year nearly a decade later…Rohit said “I want to bring Ganu home this year on Ganesh Chaturthi “ But in a simple way. He just wanted to be with HIM.
And that’s exactly what he did today.
Jai Ganesh 🙏