I wrote once on Ganesha festival (read here – Death is inevitable) of Maharashtra, similarly there is a Goddess Kali festival in West Bangal. What lesson I learnt from these festivals are death is coming, best use of your life is whatever best you can do NOW!
The festival celebrated in its current form bothers a lot of people, I am one of them. I am not against festivity, I am against politicizing the festivals and making them vulgar to some extent. I saw people drinking in these places (in general drinking in temples etc is not considered good in Indian culture), playing strange songs instead of aartis etc. I was planning to write on the same, however I received a Whatsapp message from my friend Bhushan Chavan, so here is the message audio. This message fully syncs with my thoughts. I am trying to translate this Marathi message in English.
Ganesha to his disciple – “You came! come first sit here peacefully. Take a normal breath in.
Dont just start asking for your wishes by giving me Prasad of banana & modak. To be more precise dont ask/wish for anything this year. Dont even ask [not sure if thats what it means] for what happened to the wishlist you left here last year. Because as many wishes I fulfill your list keeps on increasing!
Now, I dont want a bigger tummy than this [reference modak, sweets making Ganesha more fat]. Instead of wishing something, please do the otherwise, please fulfill few of my wishes. Check if you can do that.
This year, do not think bad for anyone else. Dont ask for donation money [Marathi “Vargani” is Hindi “Chanda” is English “donation”. I am learning Marathi 😀 🙂 ;)] in my name.
Dont spend sleepless nights, even if you don’t sleep – don’t drink, if drunk do not …. [could not make out this word]. I do not want 300 gram Gold necklace. If you can, please reduce volume of the speakers. I cannot stand the songs with vulgar lyrics, even I cant stand the vulgar dance of yours. It is impossible for me to stand your 10 day showoff in the name of a festival.
I am folding my hands and requesting please wake up, be cultured, leave this faking and selfishness.
Some times be honest and do this – be inebriated in humanity, philanthropy. Put in your 100% in your activities, keep away from the self proclaimed godmen. Instead of living on their foundations, live on your own confidence. Instead of losing your self confidence, live the God within you. Instead of winning world by terror, win it by love. Instead of flattering/serving rich people, try to help the poor/needy. Instead of becoming wealthy by materialistic things, become rich within [I wonder if Hindi/Marathi word “man” has equivalent English word].
Now see how much you can accept, do not go empty handed [not sure of this part though].
I bless you that instead of asking every time; you try and give more often and experience the contentment in that act of giving.
We’ll meet again!”
Image source – http://www.newhdwallpapers.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Lalbaugcha-Raja-Visarjan.jpg