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Ganesh Chaturthi time of year!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tomorrow is Ganesh Chaturthi. It’s a time of celebration for the city when the populace comes together as one (well, almost!) to honour the elephant god. That our founding editor Behram (Busybee) Contractor appreciated the Remover of Obstacles greatly is evident in a piece he wrote about the festival over 18 years ago, on August 31, 2000. We reproduce a portion of the piece for you dear reader, much of which rings true even today:
“As we reach another Ganpati festival, I increasingly think what a wonderful festival this is. Millions of people actually bring God into their house. Physically bring God home and install him in a place of honour, as they would a guest. And for the next few days, the number of days depending on how long they can afford the hospitality, they feed him and sing bhajans to him and introduce him to their neighbours and friends and even show him off a little. Hindu religion has always been personal and so near to the heart. No other religion has this friendly and informal relationship with its God.
Also, the manner in which it physically creates its God, in different sizes, shapes, and in various actions, driving a jeep, doing battle in the Himalayas, sitting in front of a computer, using a mobile phone. Christianity says that God created man in his own form. Here man is creating God in his form. I like the general bustle around the time of Ganpati. The celebrations are both by individual families and by the entire community combined. All houses have their own Ganpati and there is a central Ganpati put up in the locality for everybody to share and worship. Sometimes a temple, a castle, a whole city is created around the Ganpati and people from other areas come to see and admire it. This is certainly the best festival in India, and it is my favourite.”
We can almost imagine Behram sitting up there in heaven, showering blessings on all his near and dear ones as well on the legion of readers who had so much goodwill for him! We miss you, more so during these festive times, Behram!

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