Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gowri-Ganesha Festival

These are the exclusive pictures of Bangalore,Gandhi Bazar, on the eve of "Gowri-Ganesha" festival. These were taken by my brother and he sent it to me, since I always miss Bangalore,Gandhi Bazar in festival times. Its so colourful,lots and lots of people every where, shopping around, feeling happy, excited about the festival.
Gowri-Ganesha festival is the biggest celebrations in south India. Gowri comes on the third day after the full moon and Ganesha festival comes on 4th day(chathurthi) after the full moon and it comes in "Bhadrupada Masa"(Bhadrupada is the name of the month according to Hindu calender and masa means month).
When Gowri gets upset with Lord Shiva, her husband, she comes to her mother's house. Shiva sends their son Ganesha to bring her back. So that's why we celebrate Gowri first and then Ganesha and we do "visarjane", immersing of Gowri-Ganesha idols in water.
As you see in the picture, beautiful and all sizes Gowri-Ganesha idols are made and kept in the stalls, which is so colourful and looks very auspicious.
This is the time for flower vendors, to make the maximum utilisation of people's belief and faith!! As you see in the pictures, you get so awesome flowers, one cannot imagine! And it would be way too expensive and neither people nor the vendors compromise when it comes to buy flowers!! A "Mallige haara"/Jasmine garland would cost anyway around 300-400 Rupees!!!!
And my father was saying that, the vendors would not allow any kind of bargain from the people, since they know that no matter what people would buy flowers. He says that, the vendors, throw away the flowers the next day, but would not sell even a rupee less! Its a totally seller's market!
Well when it comes to flowers and fruits, my father gets the best est flowers on this earth and of course he would not compromise on anything to get the best flowers. Who ever used to come to our house, used to say, "Oh there are no flowers in Gandhi Bazar to buy, because its all in your house"!!
Every flower has a story and importance for every God! For example, Ganesha likes "red flowers", so the red hibiscus, red roses are definitely bought in Ganesha festival. And all kinds of "mallige"/Jasmine, Sampige,lotus,kanakambara............the list goes on, for some of the flowers I don't know the english names, its not grown here and some of them are grown in India.
And this about the flowers and idols. We also make delicious and varieties of desserts and snacks for the festival and every dish is different for each and every festival. For Ganesha we do "Kadabu" and for Gowri we make "obbattu"! Well this is the one main dessert, that is definitely done and there are many, many other dishes done on the festival day.
And that's our culture, which is so wonderful, colourful, and may also sounds complicate, but we enjoy doing all the stuff, right from shopping, preparing, doing the actual pooja, dressing up nicely, eating lots of nice food, inviting lot of people to the house...........!
The whole atmosphere and experience is unique and makes you feel content and happy.
Well, if you ask me, does GOD demands all these stuff!? Oh! Definitely not! He will be happy even if you offer only one flower or even if you don't offer him anything, he is always pleased with you, bless you, guide you.
But its just a way of showing our gratitude and thankful to him for what all he has given to us and helped us to sail in difficult times.
Spirituality is like a vast ocean, it cannot be explained nor can be written in the blog, its a journey, its an experience! I have just tried to give a small glimpse of the festival celebrations and I hope you all enjoyed looking at the pictures of "Bangalore-Gandhi Bazar", which you might be missing being far away from mother land!
Enjoy the festivals and celebrations and Happy Gowri-Ganesha festival to you all! (One suggestion, if you want to look a particular pciture, just click on that photo, which will get enlarged, since I have collaged the pictures)!

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