Lord Ganesh

Last week I wrote up the drums.

The drums have been overtaken by Lord Ganesha himself.

Today, his birthday, idols in his likeness march home through the streets.

Ganesh was getting ready for months, built from the inside out by laborers and artisans, men who craft and carve by eye, trained through the bloodlines, directing the sculpting and welding and painting of others without reference to blueprint.

They built with plaster of Paris working under tarps in large warehouses surrounded by corrugated iron, just off busy arteries pulsing with major Mumbai traffic.

As the days moved toward Ganesh Chaturthi, the towering sculptures emerged onto the streets, moving amid traffic toward the communities that sponsored their construction. They wobbled as they moved, without drum or trumpet, surrounded by devotees in the trucks that hauled them, accompanied to the side by fans on motorcycles taking video and still images of the procession.

Soon the movement will reverse, the tide going back out, toward immersion in the Arabian Sea.

For ten days all the city will be festive in dress and song and colorful sculpted murthis.

We offer respect to wisdom, new beginnings, and the removal of obstacles.

Plaster statues of Ganesh dissolve, and we are renewed.







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