With Vinayaka Chaturthi at the doorstep, DC speaks to prominent women across the city about how they have embraced the deity, their beliefs and so on.
For some Vinayaka is like a son and for others, he is the granter of wishes. DC speaks to socialites across city about how they have embraced the deity and their beliefs.
For dance master Kala, Vinayaka is everything. "We share a mother-son relationship." Kala's husband Mahesh Gopal gets excited when he recalls how the idol landed in his place. "It was in a mandapam, and some rituals were being performed and the idol that was supposed to be taken to some temple when a little boy came to the main priest asking if the idol could come to our place. The priest obliged the boy and since then the deity has been gracing our home," recalls Mahesh.
Kala believes that everything in her life, her marriage to Mahesh and their son is all a manifestation of the Lord’s blessings. "Vinayaka has been taking care of our family for the last 15 years, and whenever we have changed home, the 3 feet tall stone idol has added to the front area of our Pooja room." Mahesh also shares a special story surrounding the idol. "Though it is Kala who bathes the idol and performs the rituals but it only Senthil (Kala’s manager) is capable of physically carrying the idol, it is strange but true.”
Actress Meena has a concern, amidst all the festivities. “As a child I would look forward to these festive seasons as they came with a lot of colours and lights. And we cousins would have this competition to immerse the idol, but when we talk about immersion, it immediately reflects what goes into the water. The jewellery and the accessories, the chemical dyes, the plaster of paris used in idol making are detrimental to the environment and I really wish people would go back to basic clay idols that are eco-friendly.”
Vandana Srikanth, wife of actor Srikanth, gets candid with DC. "I have been brought up in a family that has always celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi in a grand way. Countless modaks go into our systems during the festive time. And I personally believe Ganesh is one Lord you can pray to for anything- be it materialistic wishes, mundane work or spiritual blessings."
Sruthi Ashwin Shekher, actor S. Ve. Shekher’s daughter in law and actor Ashwin Shekher’s wife, says, “Swayambhu Ganapati of Sringeri temple in Karnataka is our family deity and it was our grandmother who introduced us to Sri Torana Ganapati. And we have this belief in the family, that even if one member has the Lord's blessings, it will be carried to the rest of us.”
Not one day goes without Sruthi chanting the Ganesha mantra and now she is inculcating the practice in her kids. “My grandmother told me if I recite the Ganesha Kavacham for seven times, all my wishes will be fulfilled and I can vouch for this belief”. The family has a tradition of breaking a coconut before the Lord before any new venture or a journey. “We know he will remove any obstacles which are ahead.” After Vinayaka Chaturthi, the family keeps the idol at home for a few days before immersing it. Meena Chabbria, PRO at AVP Brand Alliances, PVR Cinemas, says, “This day marks the beginning of all the festivities. I travel to Mumbai every year to celebrate this day, and I personally feel beginning new ventures on this day will only bring in a lot of happiness.”...