Lifestyle

The tenth day of Ganesha Visarjan


Today is a big day in India. It’s the last day of Ganesha Visarjan, and the last day of immersion processions across Mumbai. The ten day festival takes place in honor of Lord Ganesha – the God of New Beginnings & Remover of Obstacles

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Ganesha idols are kept in people’s homes, and during this time families and friends gather to chant, pray, and give offerings, such as money and food…

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Friends get together to eat and spend time together in each other’s homes…

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I don’t eat Indian food that often because my stomach just throws a fit every other time I do, but on occasions like these I devour one delicious plate after another (I also gained like 6 kgs my first year in Mumbai, so that is another reason for it)…

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Sasha & Sam – pretty much the most adorable couple I know by the  way…

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On the last day of the festival (today), people gather and carry the idol to nearby water, like a river, a lake or the ocean, while singing, chanting and celebrating…

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Most major roads are shut off entirely so that the processions can take place safely and peacefully. I saw a few guys today covered in pink colour powder – same one we use to play Holi here in March every year. I’m honestly not sure what that symbolises?

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As far as I know most of my friends don’t partake in the massive street processions, and instead do it in a more secluded, private area. Once the idol reaches the water, there is a lot of dancing and loud music being played, to celebrate the final destination

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People then put the idol into the water, which is believed to dissolve, and the God returns to Mount Kailash

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Side note: If you’re an environmentalist and currently are wondering how good or bad this is for the ocean, I want to point out that this is a widely debated subject. It’s an historic and religious tradition which most Hindu’s celebrate, but its also been widely criticised in recent times for being harmful towards the environment…

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Many idol manufacturers these days are thankfully moving more and more towards biodegradable and environmental friendly colours and clay for this reason.

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Not many enough though, if you ask me. Some idols remain in the ocean for months. Others sink or dissolve into the water in less time…

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Since its a national holiday today, most offices were either closed or open half-day. As you can imagine, the roads get completely blocked and traffic becomes insane–four years back I was stuck in a car for over eight hours!

I was planning to head to the pool in the evening, but after checking Google Maps to assess the traffic I changed my mind. The processions hadn’t even started yet and this was the route there…

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All the roads marked in pink are closed off for processions. Kind of awesome that Google Maps updates these things in realtime though!

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