When I was a kid, with the friends in my apartment we used to eagerly wait for Ganpati days. There were very few families in my apartment. So we could not afford to bring a common large idol. There were two families who used to bring home Ganpati every year. Every evening we used to do Ganpati aartis at both the houses one after the other. We loved to do aartis and sometimes we would even fight for who would do it first. Then we would go to each flat distributing the prasad. It was our routine for the 7 days. Everything from studies to extra curricular activities will be scheduled keeping in mind the timing of pooja.
During the 10 days, my mother would take me to see the different Ganpatis in different parts of city. I loved to see and compare Ganpatis of different areas. Which one was the biggest? Smallest? Did they get bigger than the last year? Which one was the prettiest? I would see what is new this year in the shape and forms of Ganpati. I would decide then which one was the best.
Our apartments were exactly on the main road. On the last day, on the day of Ganpati Visharjan, We would take out small chairs and sit on the road side in the morning to see the trucks filled with people and Ganpati going towards the sea or river for Visharjan. We would eat corn while sitting. We would bring lunchboxes filled with snacks to eat while sitting there. In the evening, I and my mother would go to the ‘Ovara’ the immersion point to see the immersion process. While returning we would eat the street food.
Now I have grown up and studies have became my priority. I go to the aartis only once or twice in the seven days. I don’t go around the city visiting pandals of Ganpati anymore. And siting down on the last day or visiting Ovara would be upon convenience. I keep wishing I could enjoy my festival days like I used to.