Ganesh Chaturthi: 5 quirky things to check out in Mumbai


By Papri Das

Come September and Maharashtra is seen revving up to host one of the biggest festivals in India, Ganesh Chaturthi. The ten-day festival is a welcome disruption for the people of Maximum City, who relentlessly slog on to keep pace. Ganesh Puja is a time to take a breather and party hard with friends and family, irrespective of what they do or which God they worship. From holding pujas at home to dressing up to visiting the big idols of the city, Ganesh Puja has transformed from being a tradition to a lifestyle event.

As the scale of the celebrations gets bigger each year, one can’t help but look out for innovation and new trends. And Mumbaikars have been able to use their creative juices quite effectively this year as well by coming up with unique and quirky ways to celebrate the occasion.

Exec Life lists five ways that will give a twist to your Ganesh Puja this year:

1) Fish Friendly Ganesh Idols:

As the name suggests, this year Mumbaikars are buying Ganesh idols, which are exclusively tailored for fish and other underwater animals. Conceptualised by Ogilvy and Mather and executed with the help of the NGO Sprouts Environment, this initiative aim was to prevent the alarming environment pollution that happens during the festival when the clay idols are immersed in the Arabian Sea. To deal with this, the initiators came up with this awesome concept of building Ganesha idols from vegetarian fish food that is edible and safe for fish consumption. The cosmetic surface of the idols has also been painted with natural material and colours such as multani mitti, turmeric powder and geru. Now isn’t that creative?

2) Hyperrealistic Ganesh tattoos:

While many find the entire concept of having a Ganesh tattooed on oneself a hippie practice or a notch above average devotion, the practice has been prevalent for a while now. What’s new is that now Ganesh tattoos have got a new hyperrealistic avatar. Tattoo artist Sunny Bhanushali from Aliens Tattoo studio is one of handful in India to experiment with hyper realistic tattoos, which capture highly detailed images on skin, from a photograph. After coming up with a digital painting of Ganesha and Lord Shiva, Sunny has taken up this festival as an opportunity to give it a hyper real touch.

3) EDM-ised Visarjan:

Imagine a Ganesh Visarjan (immersion) ceremony where instead of band and baja and dhol people are head banging to EDM music. Such has been the scene at Breach Candy since 1999 when a group of youngsters started the EDM Ganesh Visarjan lead by DJ Asad Zaidi. The aim was to break away from the generic immersion celebrations to rope in more youngsters who prefer a different scene. Started as an experiment, the event has become quite huge with celebrities and models as well as local Maharashtrians dancing to the beats of customised Ganesh Shlokas with trance and EDM beats. What’s more, the fun doesn’t end at that. The stage, which is 24 trailers strong, has an exclusive dance floor for VIPs while the Dj works up the crowd on the streets. If you are a fan of EDM and trance, this is where you should head to this visarjan day.

4) Buy your own Ganesh temple:

Why buy a miniature Ganesh idol when you can buy an entire temple for the same price? Asks Karima Dawoodani, who sells customised temples through her shop Soul Works. Call it a budget friendly gift, an idol to worship or an art piece, Karima’s hand crafted Ganesh temples are selling like hot cakes this season, especially amongst expats and tourists who want to take a bit of our culture with them. Karima also gets creative with the Ganesha idols. Some of her signature models are Ganesha riding a cycle, Ganesha under an umbrella and Ganesha with a book. 

5) Makers get creative with Ganesh idols:

Artisans who carve Ganesh idols are inspired by Bollywood this year and have come up with a Baahubali themed Ganesh idol. A half finished idol of Ganesha carrying a Shiva linga, which quite strikingly mimics the famous Baahubali poster, is doing the rounds on the internet. As much as it has gone viral, the Baahubali Ganesha will definitely get a run for money from the ‘Selfie Ganesha.’ Yes, you heard us right! An artist has build a Ganesha idol, which is seen taking a selfie with his family. And it won’t come as a surprise if the song “Le le le le selfie le le re!” from Bajrangi Bhaijaan is played on repeat mode here!

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