Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!


Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day long festival honoring Ganesh, the Hindu god associated with wealth, success, and the removal of obstacles. In the weeks leading up to the festival, idols of Ganesh are constructed all over India, some as small as an inch tall and others as tall as 25 feet! The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi ends on the 10th day when the idols of Ganesh are taken to be submerged in bodies of water, symbolizing a sending off of Ganesh to his home in Kailash while also taking with him the misfortunes of his worshipers.

I came back to Kadod just in time for the last day of the festival, otherwise known as Ganesh Visarjan. In Kadod, there's a road that stretches down to the bank of the Tapi River, making this town the most convenient place for Ganesh Visarjan to take place within a 10km radius. From noon until 7:30pm today, more than 60 Ganesh idols were brought in on ornately decorated carts pulled by tractors and vans. With each procession, the devotees of that particular idol would dance to music booming from loudspeakers, throwing handfuls of pink-colored powder at each other and at bystanders, like me.

When I was asked several times by friends and familiar students to dance with them and play dodgeball with globs of colored powder, I felt so relieved to be back in Kadod where, unlike cities like Jaipur, I feel people make genuine efforts to make me feel like a part of their community. I was happy today being able to comfortably call Kadod my home away from home.


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