It is usually the best time of the year to be in Mumbai, under normal circumstances. Forget momentarily about the rafting season, the globular 4-D potholes that threaten to swallow you up alive, and the nasty virus that is still coursing raucously through 2020. August-end and early-September is when the universally loved elephant god Ganapati Bappa arrives in every nook and corner of the city, and the salty, fish-fragrant air is redolent with an all-pervasive enthusiasm. Experiencing Mumbai when it regales with Ganapati Bappa, is an experience of a lifetime.
Ganeshotsav has been my favourite festival for over 20 years (I qualify to utter ‘Mee Mumbaikar Aahey‘ now) since I took roots in Mumbai. There is a beautiful energy, an inexplicable rush of warmth, a sense of sheer submission when the modak-chomping Lord Ganesha arrives in colourful grandeur. Perhaps the ubiquitous chanting of the vandana, the manic and heady pounding of those gigantic drums and the crash cymbals, from shanties to soigné highrises has something to do with girdling the entire mass of humanity together. Of course, the glamorous aartis and poojas conducted in the soaps on the telly have successfully popularised the festival in locations like Lucknow, Jalandhar, Udaipur too.
Shilpi Madan for DailyO
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