Parvati created Ganesh from her body. She made a child who would protect her and be as loyal to her as Nandi was to Shiv.

When Ganesh, unknowingly, stopped his own father from entering the private chambers of his mother, Shiv beheaded him. Parvati was so enraged at the death of her child that she decided to destroy the entire Creation.

Brahma pleaded with Shiv to stop her and Parvati stated her conditions to do so. One was to bring her son back to life and the other was that he be worshipped before all the other Gods. Both conditions were met.

Ganesh received an elephant head and came to life and in every hindu pooja, he is worshipped first.

I grew up on this version of the story of Gajanana. So in my mind the festival celebrates the bonds between mother and child.

After we were married and set up our home, every Vinayak Chaturthi, my ghati-boy husband would sit around with a long face missing his parents and the sthapana and the aartis and the pooran polis and the modaks and the visarjan and all the fun.

In his family it is a tradition that bringing home of the Ganpati is passed down from generation to generation via the eldest son. There are concessions made for starting your own idol bringing if you move away or have a child…but every time I would suggest that we should begin to do this, pass on the traditions to our children, he would refuse stating firmly that he’d never split the family thus. The Ganpati idol would only be brought to his parents home and now after the passing away of his brother – the eldest son, to his nephew’s home when he was old enough to take responsibility for it.

Back to sad boy faces…until one year I told him to just go be with his parents at this time. And so the tradition continues.

Ketav goes to his other home to be with his mother and I stay back with my children in Bangalore. Both Parvatis happy with their children until such time that we can all be together one day.

The children made me a play doh Ganesh this morning and we did our little, quick pooja. In keeping with my bahu- of-the- Maharastrians status, I draped the saree I received on my engagement day, twenty years ago.

saree#83 #100sareepact. EVERY saree I get from my mother in law must have rani pink, her favourite colour. And EVERY festival, I make sure I put on my mangalsutra.

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