So I hear that all the fairness cream defying Ganeshas are going to be disallowed next year. I shall have one less reason to hyperventilate about nirmalya lying on the beaches. And I will shed no tears on reading Ambai's description of a powerless monolith that floats aimlessly on the Versova coast and tears fishing nets to shreds. Also, Ganesha won't have to do Fair and Lovely Ads. Or even Fair and Handsome. He doesn't support stereotyping. But he is indignant. And petulant. First they put Sugar Free in his modaks, now they won't let him paint his face and then they say he should be made of clay so that he can dissolve easily. What is this dissolving-bissolving, he asks? Are they trying to tell him that he is obese and he should go to the gym because if he doesn't go to the gym he cannot paint his face and look hot? Ganesha is really worried.
Today, for the first time in my adult life, I saw an empty road, the usual kilometre of traffic strangely absent, at the masochistic traffic lights near JVPD. I am also masochistic and go there sometimes, hence I almost felt bereft, like I was being denied my lawful right. But then, I saw many strange things today. On SV Road, I saw a group of people dancing around a cart that carried the band. No horse. Check. No bridegroom. Check. No Ganesha. Check.
Why is it a rule rather than an exception - bring small truck, plonk Ganesha in it and fill with people until truck bursts at seams? You are not visarjan-worthy if the truck exterior has even a single inch of unoccupied protruding metal.
Today, I heard a lustily sung aarti in the cracked voice of an old Maharashtrian matron. It sounded so nice. It reminded me of Chavande Kaka, who was the daytime watchman and who sang the aarti every year. I always tried to drown his voice out because he didn't sing it the way Lata Mangeshkar did. And we kids hated him for not letting us play on the building's water tank. Now, I am tired of shrill-voiced Lata impersonators who are ably supported by bad accompaniment; the rule is, the higher the better. Much like Hafeez Contractor.
No, mungda, mungda, main gud ki kali... is not a Ganesha aarti. Gauri would fly down from the heavens to curse you if the airfares were not so high. However, I really like the remixed Ghalin Lotangan with DJ type beats on those flat tawa-like things in drum sets. Wonder how they'd remix Pasayadan.