Om Ganeshaya Namaha!

Ganesh, the elephant headed son of Shiva and Parvati is believed to be the Hindu Lord of Good Fortune and Destroyer of Obstacles of a material or spiritual order. Ganesh Chaturthi, which falls on September 11 this year, is widely celebrated as his birthday and the Ganesh puja festival lasts for 10 days.
The celebration was kick-started in our office, yesterday when one of our oldest friends on GIPAP, Mrs.Kumud Mehta, wished us all prosperity with a hand painted Ganesh to adorn our walls.

Ganesh puja is most elaborately celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, but in our own city of Bombay in the state of Maharashtra, the celebrations take on a life of their own. Even before the first of the ten days the roads are jammed because people from various clubs are transporting huge idols of Ganesh to their respective clubs for community celebrations. There is extra police protection all over the city as people queue up to take the blessings of Ganesh at the various clubs where temporary Temple like structures are erected. These queues are many miles long and inadvertently end up blocking the already jammed roads of Bombay. The last day of the celebrations is the most chaotic as these huge idols are transported with much fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Mount Kailash in the Himalayas while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.

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