Wednesday, 4 September 2019


Vakratunda Mahakaaya
Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva
Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada

        This shloka is a prayer to Lord Ganesha chanted before  any  solemn task  to be performed or undertaken. It means,  The Lord with the curved trunk and a mighty body, who has the lustre of a million suns, I pray to thee Oh Lord, to remove the obstacles from all the actions I intend to perform.”

           Mumbai is a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis, where most neighbours coexisting on the same floor of flat remain strangers. But we have been blessed with wonderful and close neighbours Ramesh and Sunanda Kadam, ever since we relocated to our 2nd floor Ashok Van home in Borivali post-retirement (2014). Ramesh retired as Chief Manager ‘Bank of Maharashtra’ two yrs ago, while Sunanda is an efficient and skilled  housewife. In fact they bought this 2-BHK flat in 1985 along with Meena’s Dad, LtCdr VP Bakhshi who retired and settled here prior shifting Anchor to Jhansi by turn of the Millenium. Ramesh’s job took him to Satara, Pune, Panchgani and Kalyan prior to hanging his boots. They are blessed with two beautiful, talented and brilliant daughters Shivani and Rutuja. The elder one has recently taken up her appointment in Kotak Mahindra Bank as a Junior Mkg officer post MBA and the younger one is preparing for her CA. Sunanda and Meena have been close friends since college times 33 yrs ago and bank on each other for everything including care of their pets whenever one family goes outstation. Sunanda looks after our 20+ lovebirds when we visit our Pune home, and their pet dog,’Captain’ feels at home in our flat when they are away. Infact Captain is quite close to Meena, as She nonchalantly leashes him for a walk every morning and evening.     

      For a long time Kadams had been establishing Ganapati Idol at their home during Ganesh Chaturthi, but then discontinued the solemn practice  some 10 yrs ago. This year Shivani and Rutuja conspired and convinced their parents for bringing in Lord Ganesh to their home. They took Meena along to buy a beautiful Idol of Lord Ganesh from the Nukkad. The Lord shifted hands from Ramesh to Shivani to Rutuja, but since they found Ganesh a bit heavy, Meena volunteered to carry it to their home. Ramesh was impressed by her energy and told me, “Raj, yeh toh bhaagte huey aayi”. Sunanda awaiting at the door, performed the rituals of welcoming the Lord inside. Ganesh kept smiling as he was mounted on the table decorated for him. He was garlanded with white, yellow and orange marigolds, pure ghee oil lamps lit and offered sweet Modak prior to commencement of Aarti in the presence to neighbours, friends and relatives. ‘Captain’ fond of the sweet Modak, kept prancing around the drawing-room from the time Lord Ganesh entered the house. Meena kept offering him bits of Modak to nibble upon. Daada (Ramesh’s Dad) performed the Aarti even as the Bappa prayers ‘Jai Deva’ were chanted by the devotees. Among the devotees, Borivali’s renowned Medicine specialist Dr Pradeep Kadam (Ramesh’s Cousin) and his family were also present. Their daughter in black T-shirt clapped enthusiastically chanting prayers.  Double claps by all, bells and chimes by Shivani and Rutuja were in harmonics during the half an hour-long puja. At the culmination everyone, in turn, offered flower petals to the Ekdanta Lord, even as the sacred flame was offered for aahuti and self purification by Ramesh while Prasad was distributed by the smiling daughters. Sumptuous and delectable lunch was served to all devotees, that comprised pooran pori with milk, rice with Amati, Aaloo wadi and sweet Modak prepared by Sunanda ,Meena and Shivani . The devotees were invited for the evening Aarti too prior departure. We being their immediate neighbours attended all the Aarties and established a close mutual bond with the Vighnaharta. The Lord spent two busy days and pleasant night with us all. The next morning’s Aarti was attended again by the building residents. For the evening Aarti the 2nd-floor neighbours turned up prior to the Visarjan. Meena carried the Vighnaharta from the 2nd floor and placed Him on the Lap of Mr Ramesh Kadam, my copilot in Tata Manza. Sunanda and her daughters sat in the rear seat chanting ‘Ganpati Bappa Moriya’ as I drove our Lord to the Universal School’s  Eco-friendly artificially built Visarjan Pond. The Pond was so built to dissolve hundreds of Ganesha Idols being brought by individual devotees. Meena and Anuj were waiting for us at the Pond site. They carried the Idol to the site for the last rituals before the final Visarjan. It was an emotional moment for the Kadam and Dutta families to see their Ekdanta being dipped thrice prior to it going down in the clean blue waters merrily. We all chanted, ”Ganpati Bappa Moriya, Mangal murti Moriya”. We all returned home enchanted having performed all the rituals and ceremonies superbly by the grace of the Lord.  

Some Amazing Facts of Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations.

1. This is just not a Festival. Many businesses boom during this time…Decorations, Logistics, Catering, transport, lighting etc. Total turn over 20,000 Crs, while the IPL generates about 1,300 Crs.

2. Have you seen a Modak? Do you know why is Modak shaped like a sack? Instead of a sack of money, it’s a sack of sweet food. And this sack of food is more precious to Lord Ganesh than money.

3. Lal Bagh cha Raja is the most popular Ganapati in Mumbai. Its designed and Patented and more than 15 lakh devotees queue up for darshan. It might be the most popular one, but it's not the richest. That crown goes to King’s Circle GSB Seva Mandal. The Gold on the Ganesha Idol is 22 Crs.

4. And where there’s huge money, there’s insurance. Andheri cha Raja is insured for 5 Crs. Lal Bagh cha Raja for 50 Crs. Kings Circle GSB Seva Mandal Idol is insured for 270 Crs.

5. To cover all the Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai, you need to walk 50 kms every day for 10 days and see 1500 pandals each day.

6. With more than 7 lakh idols and crores of people being part of the festival, these 10 days are full of celebrations galore.

Ganpati Bappa Moriya….

Agle Baras Tu Jaldi Aa....


  1. A blog cannot be more beautifully than Cdr. Raj Dutta
    It us always a pleasure reading his blogs.
    Today reading the Blog on Ganesh was some thing which brought so many details about the Ganesh festival in Mumbai.
    The spirit behind the celebrations with friends is an old fashion in Maharashtra. True friendship is seen during this Greatest Festival being celebrated here.
    I would like to add something.
    Ganesh Festival is celebrated in a grand scale in all Maratha light infantry Units of the Army.
    The Buity is that the Ganesh Idol is brought from Maharashtra from most of the troops come.
    It is carried to the remotest areas where these units are located.
    It is good when you see troops on uniform performing all the ritueles in these areas.
    The main pooja is performed by the Commanding Officers what ever religion he may belong too.
    Ganpati Bappa Mauriya
    Pudche Versus lokar yeha

    1. Thanks Mamaji....Glad you liked it....Yes, its the most favorite Festival for the Marathas/MLI....Bappa is indeed therefore more closer to you and Chhotu than us....Regards.

  2. Beautifully expressed Rajji. Indeed Ganpati bappa is the most worshipped God. Ramesh anna is my cousin and we all were really surprised and overwhelmed with the news of arrival of Bappa in our house after so many years. We always had a great celebration in our native ie. dada's house....for all 10 days along with GAURI PUJAN. Miss all the fun though. Still enjoyed to the fullest on the Chaturthi🙏 GANPATI BAPPA MORYA🙏

  3. Thanks Sir...Glad you liked it....Could you mention your Name, Please.