Growing up as a child in National Defense Academy, Khadakwasla Pune is the best thing that can happen to any child and this is not only me saying because I was raised there but anyone who have been in Pune would vouch for this.
When I landed in Canada first and met few Indians they always said you lived in the best part of India so US or Canada is not different for you. What I remember from my childhood is about people and only people. They would be from all parts of the country who will be your neighbors for 2-3 years and then a new neighbor from new state with new language and tradition and the saga goes on.
Ganpati Bappa is one event where no matter what religion or caste you belong to, everyone is excited to see the small pandals (shrines) or the big everywhere some or the other thing is happening. Either people are decorating the pandals or the Ganpati Idol is being created there itself. Late night lights and music, which many times strict dads used to complain about as kids are not able to study, but for us who cares…while studying and revising those chemistry formulas as how to create methanol and examples of Thermodynamics, one of two beats from the dhol always made it more interesting.
Being a keralite never felt that we cannot celebrate this event. It was always that mom, what we making for this festival and then sharing it with friends and family. Every year there was a tradition of a MES (Military Engineering Services) bus loading with all NDA folks and taking them to city for Ganpati Bappa darshan and the best part is to hold my dad’s hand and walk on those busy streets to watch each Ganpati and its decorations where the lightings will dance in the tunes of the music that they played.
As I am writing this, my heartbeat has doubled the rate with excitement as someone has taken that effort to bring the same feeling to my current hometown in Bay Area and that is Praveen Suggala and Neeraj Dhar, the two pillars of our Radio Zindagi who are known for their togetherness in all efforts whether it rains or shine. Long live this togetherness and goodwill gestures!!!
A dream that one sees and another one tries to fulfill it by giving a surprise, how sweet is that bonding? Something that is not done for two people or a media company, its for the mass.
Its for the people who all can make it to Bay Area at Newpark mall from Sep 18th to 20th, 2015 – its for all. A 15 feet Ganpati Bappa murti – I don’t have to say much you can see from the picture below – how royally Bappa sits on that throne, it makes us feel proud and happy with glory.
I feel very proud to say that history has been created right here in silicon valley and I have the opportunity to be part of it. This will remain in history forever that two people came together and brought the essence of Maharashtra’s Ganpati Bappa festival all the way to Silicon Valley – a valley of opportunity for the opportunists.
I am sure every Indian will enjoy this festival far away from home here at home and our non-Indian friends will rejoice the celebration with all their Indian friends. That’s the solidarity it brings to the valley and all I want to say is this post is dedicated for the people and for those who believe in celebrating such moments which will continue the saga generation after generation.
Ganpati Bappa Morya
Mangal Murti Morya