Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Birthday ,Ganeshji !

What a sweet Ganpati! It belongs to our Blogdost - three guesses - I bet you know who.
On the way back from Kolkata, as we drove to catch our flight back to Mumbai, I watched hundreds of Vishwakarma images being taken for visarjan. When we landed , it was close to midnight, and our Ganpatis were winding their way to countless temporary homes in the metropolis. It felt great to be back! From the air , I could see the shimmering lights of several Sarvajanik pandals gleaming in the dark wetness of the monsoon night. Driving home, I joined worshippers as they shouted, "Ganpati Bappa, Morya..."
There were no ukdichhey modak waiting for me, though. That delicacy ended with the passing away of my mother.
This appeared in Bombay Times yesterday....
Remembering Gautam ….
When Madhuri Dixit broke down during a book release function in front of a vast , pre-dominantly Maharashtrian audience at the historic Ravindra Natya Mandir last week, there was pin drop silence. She took her time to compose herself, tears flowing down her alabaster cheeks. When she spoke about the late Gautam Rajadhyaksha, it was with genuine love for a man whose goodness had touched the hearts of so many people. Gautam referred to Madhuri as his daughter ( the other daughter being Kaajol). And Madhuri’s was the face Gautam picked for the cover of his superb book, aptly titled ‘Faces’. Dixit, looking ravishing and Goddess-like, was accompanied by her husband, who sportingly came up on stage for the audience to get a good dekho of the man blessed enough to be married to Madhuri. His appearance was greeted by a roar of approval.
Once we had finished wiping our tears, it was time for Asha Bhonsle to speak. Before she did that, the presenter read out a moving tribute to Gautam written by Ashatai herself ( she is nearly done with her autobiography). This was such a gut wrenching effort, it was impossible to listen to it without audibly sobbing. Ashatai herself, kept wiping her tears with a corner of her saree pallu. Yes. It was that emotionally charged.They were close, Gautam and Asha. And shared an extraordinary relationship. She confessed she used to sulk and get possessive about Gautam often taunting him to go spend time with Madhuri or Kaajol…. his ‘ladkis’ ( favourites), after a difference of opinion. Ashatai’s secret recipe for ‘Fish Biryani’ ( her signature dish), was shared exclusively with Gautam ( an equally accomplished cook)…. but, she added with a wry smile, it never tasted the same. They shared common passions for music, food, beauty, and much more. Their daily conversations must have been scintillating. She expressed her enormous regret that Gautam isn’t around to see her movie debut at 80 years of age in ‘Mai’. Unbelievable! Perhaps it marks a first in the world …. a legendary singer decides to try her hand at acting in the eighth decade of her incredible life! Would Gautam have approved? No! Said Ashatai firmly. He refused to photograph her as an old woman… and wept when he saw the early stills. In his eyes, Ashatai was the perennial Diva…. one beyond age.
What a fine evening it was. Two extraordinary women ( Madhuri Dixit and Asha Bhonsle), sharing the same platform to honour an extraordinary man!
Green Ganpatis…. an excellent initiative that’s being aggressively promoted. Eco-friendly murtis of Mumbai’s favourite deity have finally caught on with more and more devotees are opting for them.It was always a heart breaking sight to see the beaches after Visarjan day. Let’s all endeavour to make this year’s Festival, the biggest, safest and cleanest…
Fascinating to see the growing trend of item numbers picturised on hotties playing Marathi Mulgis in Bollywood movies. After Vidya’s energetic lavni, it’s on to Rani Mukherjee’s Aiyaa. But before that comes sizzling Bebo’s Halkat! Raj Thackeray must be in heaven!


Manjiri Kale said...

Ganesh chaturthichya shubhhechha... idea about the blogdost. Anyway...ganpati bappa moraya...mangalmurti moraya

Manjiri Kale said...

My mother makes very good modak so do come in our house

snehal said...

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!!

Unknown said...

Nitin rai, Nitin rai, Nitin rai..

Anonymous said...

That Ganpati looks too cute.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Ganpati Bappa Morya.

I ate modak shaped pedhas this morning, This weekend, I shall dress in a narayan pethi sari, green glass bangles and flowers in my hair and go forth to attend a marathi natya sangeet recital to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. My daughter made a small clay ganpati with little nimble fingers and that will get pride of place on my living room mantle for the next week. A teaching moment for art and culture and what it means to appreciate my hindu roots.

The actual culinary delights of a steamed modak continue to elude me, but a girl can dream... right?

Pooja Rathore said...

Ganapatijis pic is really good,talented nitin?
Touching post on gautam rajayadhyaksha...its nice to know he is regarded so high by the people he worked with and by the people in his life.
Raj thackrey in heaven was really a good line de ;)

akash shastri said...

Ganpati Bappa Morya. Enjoyed a lot on Ganesh Chaturthi and the laddus made by my grand mother were awesome.

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Anonymous said...

Beautiful post on ganpati visarjan. And what a beautiful idol of ganesh ji ! Thanks for sharing your beautiful description.

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