He has packed His bags and is ready to leave.
The streets are filled with devotees gyrating to songs of celebration and music. The air is suffused in vivacious chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya! …Bappa Bappa Morya… Mangal Murti Morya!
11 days of festivity has today reached its pinnacle and it’s a big farewell party out there.
Today is Anant chaturdashi or Ganpati Visarjan, the final day of Lord Ganesha’s journey on earth. Today, lacs of Ganesha idols will be immersed in lakes, ponds and rivers all over the city.
Making His way along with me is Ganesha, The Divine traveler, our friend who has today reached the final leg of His journey, better known as the Ganesh Visarjan.
Lord Ganesha being taken for Immersion
He assembles in the arena and waits for the final proceedings before the visarjan
The diya (lamp) is lit and Ganesh Stuti or Arti (prayer) is performed with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm for one last time.
His face gets a divine radiance with the flame of the diya glowing clear and bright.
Coconuts are broken and He is played Holi with!
His smile, His beauty, His cuteness… His memories are captured
The atmosphere is charged with devotion.
Wishes are whispered and His blessings are asked for.
All religious paraphernalia are removed, one by one.
The final boarding call – A loud chant of Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya…
… And He is lifted high
Some lower their heads while He gleefully passes over them
At the Immersion site
Devotees look on with eager eyes,
All hearts crying out to their dear friend — Good Bye… Ganesha
Amid chants of Bappa Bappa Morya, Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya,
Ganesha takes His flight back home…
These final moments of visarjan are quite heart warming not only for those who have hosted Him in their house for the past few days but also for people like me who have just been a part of the festival from the sidelines.
A little girl in a pensive mood looks on…
But these are also the moments that, I feel, highlight the real essence of the festival. Its in these final few moments that one can see the message He has wished to convey – The Message of love and detachment, of dissolution and creation, of bonding and separation, of patience and of moving on…
As the day gets darker and night falls over, I see the the streets are filled with the same enthusiasm and are still very much alive with all the party and celebrations,
As I make my way back home amid all these celebrations, A speck of gulaal kisses my cheek…
And I’m suddenly reminded me of a quote by Melina Campos,
Memories last forever, never do they die.
Friends stay together, never say goodbye.
See you soon, Ganesha!