Monthly Archives: September 2015

Ganpati Bappa Morya


Shreemant Dagdusheth Ganpati Pune

The tradition of  collective celebration of Ganpati  runs in my blood as a Mumbaikar. I grew up in Mumbai with huge theme based Ganpati idols, massive decorations, standing in long lines for darshan, participating in maha aartis, watching nightly entertaining programs and seeing chowpaty visarjans. Visiting Lalbagcha Raja, Ganeshgalli Mumbaicha Raja, Khetwadi Ganraj, and Sioncha Ganpati in big groups was our yearly ritual. Further, I was introduced to the Dagdusheth Ganpati Pune and the typical puneri style of Ganpati celebrations with Nasik dhol and tasha, lejim bands and ladies atharvasheersh chanting pathaks. Festivities in India are out of the world, which we definitely miss in abroad. Therefore, I catch up with the celebrations of  Ganpati arrival and visarjan  with my kids on YouTube. My kids have never experienced the festivities in Mumbai or Pune so they are overwhelmed with the kind of crowd and cheer in people. The questions they ask while watching these Ganpati videos are obvious from their perspective like why are these many people gathering in such a small place? How do these people look so happy and content?  Where do they come from and where are they going? How do these people get the time, energy and dedication to participate in these carnivals? How do people of all class and communities forget their differences during this time of the year? Are they not scared of going in the crowd? Where are food, water and bathroom arrangements for these people?

And I say..…..“It is the strength of human spirit” that goes above and beyond the obstacles, doubts and reservations of human endeavors. 

Ganala naman

Ganala naman

2015 was the eighth year of celebrating Ganpati festival at home. I made the typical Maharashtrian naivadya of varan bhaat, batatyachi bhaji, usal and ukdiche modak.

Modakam samarapayami

Modakam samarapayami

The highlights of this weekend were friends coming over, visiting Bayareacha raja in New Ark, my daughter’s participation in the cultural program there and Kareoke at a friend’s place. Avantika danced in a group represented by Megha Shetty’s, Bayarea Nritya Guru.

IMG_3285      IMG_3292

The New Ark Bayareach raja reminded me of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai and Pune. The crowd, the big lines for darshan and Prasad and the ethnic sentiments there demonstrated how our cultural ties are deep rooted within us and we carry them wherever we go.

Bayareacha raja

Bayareacha raja


My NRI chashma



In this selfie we covered our driver too

This summer I went to India after four long years. Well! I enjoyed my trip, had loads of fun with family and friends. Did whole bunch of travelling…eating…reading….and shopping!

But while I was busy in my activities, I realized the massive and rapid change our navin Bharat is going through….new infrastructure, new spending power, new aspirations, new ambitions…wow! kudos to our government, our leaders and our people.

I am eager to share with you this striking change I experienced in people, places, attitudes, and choices overall. Of course my views are confined to the people I saw, met, spoke to and observed while travelling and living in cities…they definitely do not represent the whole nation and there are exceptions…so I request the readers to enjoy with open and unbiased mind…….Here’s what I saw through my LADIES NRI chashma:

  • Money wise – Ten rupees is the new one rupee and five hundred note is the new one hundred note
  • Everything is four times expensive…a beggar refuses to take five rupees
  • Domestically – Women are stressed over their baais (household maids)
  • On an average people have two to three domestic helpers, children miss their nannies over parents
  • Trend wise – Artistic yoga, power yoga, hot yoga, rumba, samba are the buzz words among fitness freaks
  • Bollywood dancing is hot while traditional dancing is cold
  • Drinking is the new normal coz Teetotalers are abnormal
  • Craze for branded stuff is out of hand
  • Online shopping is hot… in crowded stores is lame
  • People have moved on from yoga with Ramdev baba to herbal products with Baba’s Patanjalli
  • Hanging out in malls and bowling alleys is something while time pass on kattas like the good old days is nothing
  • Technologically – Virtual life on Facebook is more important than real life
  • Every person from bai to dabbawalla in gaav to city is on whatsapp!
  • Parties, picnics, celebrations and dev darshan all are incomplete without selfies
  • Smart phones are in and mobiles with press buttons are out
  • Texting on phone is trendy while face to face conversation is waste of time
  • Playing games on electronic devices are cool while playing on the play ground is old school
  • Fashion wise – Western outfits among women are must haves while traditional clothing is heavy…”Kon pehenta hai ab”
  • In skirt without satin and saree blouse without latkan are bore
  • Hair straightening is a big hit
  • Tunics and kurtas over jeans or leggings is everywhere while dupattas and pallus are too much to wear
  • Gold jewelry out of fashion against imitation jewelry which is most preferred
  • Among the kids – Parties are incomplete without donuts, cupcakes, burgers, pizzas and pastas while Wada pav, chaat, or other gharguti items are outdated and cheap options
  • Coaching classes start before seeking admission in school and college
  • New student routine is school, home, tuition, TV, and computer
  • Spending power – Air ports are the new railways stations and budget airline is the new Rajdhani express
  • Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand trips are more common than Rajasthan and Kerala tours among senior citizens and honeymooners
  • Any day anytime in cities wait to be seated in a restaurant is minimum thirty to forty minutes
  • With the new construction, pollution, and population explosion it looks like urban Bharat will take over…our natural Bharat…

What can I say…change is inevitable….

India is racing change… someone has already said that if you do not create change, change will create you!

so my bharatiya bandhu and bhaginis…..before it is too late….adapt to this change