Divinity, dances, drums and tearful farewell to the Lord Ganesha

Lata Jain

After 10 days of celebrations, ita��s time to bid farewell to the Lord Ganesha, for this year…. All around us, we can hear the shouts of Ganpati Bappa Moriya! Aagle baras thu loukar aa (Long Live Ganesha! Come early next year!) It is indeed a fond farewell, as crowds gather to see Him off.

Lakhs of devotees in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh bid an emotional adieu to Lord Ganesha on the immersion day, marking conclusion of the ten-day long festival.

The ritual of immersion, locally known as ‘Nimajjanam’, of more than 90,000 idols in various water bodies amid tight security, was a massive event in Hyderabad with an estimated one million people taking part in it.

The processions drew huge crowds to witness the immersion of large, multicolored statues of Ganesh, at tank bund and various other lakes of the twin cities.

The smaller idols are decanted with some dignity. A swimmer receives it into his arms, and he lets it gently into the water, submerges it once, then up to the surface once, then he and idol slowly sink below the green water.

With the big idols, the crew just shoves mightily, tipping them off. They fall in sideways, upside-down even. The hollow plaster interiors fill up, their unfinished surface visible as they fall from the huge cranes.

Other festivals are celebrated by individual families, but this one brings the entire community together, cutting across caste and creed,a�? added Anurag Sharma, incharge DGP telangana, who witnessed the festivities in the old city near Charminar.

According to DGP in charge Mr.Anurag Sharma more than 20,000 police personal including police from central paramilitary were deployed for the peaceful immersion. Thirty bomb disposal teams, 30 sniffer dog teams, anti-sabotage teams were pressed into service for the peaceful immersion.

On the trucks, young boys in white kurtas and Gandhi caps, their faces smeared with gulal, or red powder, waited to catch flowers and sweets tossed from the pandals. Everyone chanted a�?Ganpati bappa moriyaa��a��a��a��

According to Hindu mythology, Ganesh, the son of Hindu god Shiva and goddess Parvati, was created from the dust on his mothera��s skin.

a�?The immersion represents the cycle of creationa�� traditionally, statues of Ganesh were made from river sand or clay, so when the statue is immersed it goes back to nature,a�?A�says Jai prakash nambiar of NGO I go green.

Several NGOs and political parties had set up elevated platforms; party dignitaries and family members sit there. Every time a big idol passes, one of the worthies takes to the microphone and greets them, loudly. They offer them water, juice and tea in some of the pandals.

There is no toxicity attached to the tradition, but modernity has led to bigger, better, grander and artificial statues, a�?says Mr.Paras Jain from Begumbazar a�?Clay is heavy and difficult to carrya�� the alternative plaster of Paris is much lighter.

In Hyderabad, more than 90,000 community idols were immersed this year, along with tens of thousands of home idols. a�?Every year, the number of idols increases, so better planning is required,a�? said municipal commissioner Mr. Somesh Kumar a�?.

But a morning walker, an ex army officer finds the scene pathetic next morning. One gets to see the broken idols a�� one arm here, one head there, and broken elephantsa�� trunksa�� and cana��t believe that this is the same god we worshiped at home for 10 days,a�? says Mr.Rawat Singh.

Whatever it is a festival which brings the community together and there is joy, togetherness and festivity.

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