Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ganesha's sweet tooth!

Every year during this time, we head to my native town, Dharmasthala  where we join our extended family from my dad’s side in the celebration of Ganesha Chaturthi at the family ancestral home. This has been our family tradition ever since I can remember and so it was only natural that I continued the same post marriage and now have Abhay and in the future have our little one tag along with us! Barring the three years that we were in the US, we’ve been regulars at this annual family event and given our busy lifestyles, this is often the only time we get to meet our relatives and extended family. So much so that this is something Abhay has come to look forward to every year wherein he does not remain a mute spectator to the festivities but whole-heartedly participates in some of events surrounding the celebrations like the pooja and the bhajan session that goes on till the twilight hours followed by the visarjana next morning.  It feels nostalgic to see Abhay get into a competition mode with his cousins in the singing of bhajans, taking time off to rehearse the same in advance before the ‘final show’! Can’t blame him as I guess it sort of runs in the family as I used to exhibit the same spirit during my growing up years and I see the same vying attitude still displayed by my father and his hexagenarian brothers! :-)

Though it is more than a week since the festival, Ganesh Chaturthi festivities extend a whole ten days in many parts of the country with many neighbourhoods hosting their own Ganesha events around many cities, including Bangalore..…so the celebration of “Ganesha” is far from over. So my post on Ganesha Chaturthi (a must post occasion on Onestoryaday) can hardly be deemed out of place..isn’t it?? Anyway….there’s never a wrong time for good books and for this occasion, we read “ Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth” by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes and illustrated by Sanjay Patel, an Indian American animator with Disney’s Pixar who has authored many books on the Hindu Mythology for western audience, whose retelling of Ramayana we’ve read before. Often deemed as a  hipster’s guide to Hindusim, Sanjay Patel’s books present the mythological tales in an entertaining narrative packed with tongue-in cheek humour and quirky dialogues mirroring the recent Disney flicks that we’ve come to enjoy. Aided with vibrant illustrations, the authors take the creative liberty of adding a few fun elements and amusing scenes, while retaining the overall essence of the legend. We all know the story of how Lord Ganesha broke his tusk that eventually proved to be a blessing in disguise for the great Vyasa to put down his story of Mahabharata in writing.  But did you know it was the “Super-Jumbo Jaw Breaker Laddoo” that was responsible for him landing with a broken tusk, despite being warned by his best friend, whom he fondly called Mr. Mouse? Or as Ganesha hurls his tusk at the moon in frustration, it lands on an old man who happened to be the great poet Vyasa looking for a scribe to pen Hindu Mythology’s most famous epic. With a little goading, Ganesha no longer resents his broken tusk as he realizes it’s true worth and with the able assistance of Mr. Mouse who helps Ganesha understand the “terms of agreement”, Ganesha sets out to do the formidable task….and the rest is history! We loved the authors’ contemporary presentation of an age old tale in a manner that the children are able to relate to. Of course, the graphic illustrations are the book’s piece de resistance, that are not only striking in colours and imagery but truly represent India’s rich and vibrant mythological heritage which sets this book apart from any other mythological series we’ve read before. So along with all the goodies and festive treats to satisfy your sweet tooth…bring home Ganesha’s too!! Enjoy the festive season everyone…!!:-) 

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