With Ganesh Chaturthi being celebrated across the state, youngsters in the city are all set to chant Ganapathi bappa morya, while belting delicious festive fare, specially made for the occasion, to celebrate their favourite deity.
Bramha the Lord of creation, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer and Saraswathi the goddess of knowledge, art and music are all deities many turn to in times of need. Amongst them is a deity whom people across all ages adore and celebrate; Ganesha the remover of obstacles.
And the elephant god has an intrinsic relationship with youngsters today who share their love for Lord Ganesha and why the festival is one of the most anticipated and celebrated among youngsters.
Sushma Nanaiah, a professional make-up artiste, says, “Being a Coorgi, we never used celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. Once I got married, we started celebrating it, and over the years I have developed a great fondness for the festival. Having slipped into a time when we remain so busy, Ganesh Chaturthi is the only festival when the whole family comes together. Over time I have begun associating Lord Ganesha coming into our house with happiness coming into our house. A time when I am surrounded by people I love. To me Ganesha is the reason why I have this opportunity.”
Ganesha is treated as a universal God, there are no barriers about who or how one can worship him. This is also why he has a huge number of followers.
Sujay, a graduate of Bsc Chemistry, says, “It was a tradition to set up a Ganesha statue in a mantapa, play loud music and celebrate the festival all through the 10 days in our area. To buy the Ganesha statue, my friends and I, a group of eight naughty kids would go door to door to collect money. The fresh memory of our cricket balls making a hole in their window never came in the way of them making a donation; honestly, the most I’ve socialised all my life. The second best part of the festival is the drummers. There have been times when I was so lost in dancing to their tunes that I didn’t even know who I was dancing with.”
The influence of Lord Ganesha in Indian cinema is no secret. Bal Ganesh and My Friend Ganesha are movies we have all watched as kids.
Saurabh Kulkarni, a TV serial actor, recalling his memories and fondness for Ganesha, says, “I grew up watching a lot of Kannada movies. In most of them, one thing I have noticed is, be it love, comedy or animation, the one God who is everywhere is Ganesha. As a kid who grew up watching so many of his movies, it didn’t come as a surprise to me when he became my idol. Some of my favourite movies include Gauri Ganesha and Ganeshana Madhuve, both comedies. I have also played the role of Ganesha in primary school and college where I was dressed up like him. These are fond memories that I can never forget.”