Here comes the week to invite the most respectable deity into our homes, who brings positive energy and happiness as he walks in.
It’s his week to rule the homes, lanes, roads; shining with his presence placing himself in public pandals for group worship, across every corner of the country. He watches the world through his million eyes, fixed to his idol form, varying in shapes and sizes starting from the size of that of a ‘palm of a hand’ and scaling to as tall as a ‘coconut tree’. Each and every idol statue carved out, displays the uniqueness and the best of the creativity coming from the craftsmen. However, at times some do go overboard modernizing him. I also found in the google image that someone had crafted a spider man version of him.
Data research indicates that the tallest statue in India is generally found in Khairatabad in Hyderabad, Telangana. However, even Vizag seems to be pulled into the interest of housing the tallest statue. During 2016, Visakhapatnam seems to have erected a 100 foot & 78 foot long statues in two of its location – Vizag city and Gajuwaka respectively, followed by Khairatabad being contented with a 58 feet stature.
This year Khairatabad has erected the statue standing 57 foot tall and here is a glimpse of him.
Coming back to the topic of our home, we invited him for the fifth time this year (2017).
As size does matter to us , we restricted his form to a 1.5 foot.
As I proceeded to the market in the morning to fetch him, the radio aired the message from the chief minister of the state to invite him in his eco -friendly avatar. The State is becoming quiet serious about the form of the idols and is strictly saying a ‘NO’ on the usage of Plaster of Paris (POP) material and is encouraging the clay models instead. The authorities are also up against the use of the strong oil paint colors being used to beautify him. The country has started to realize that the water bodies and ecosystems are fearing to turn toxic year by year, taking a hit on their features, property and utility as they uptake their responsibility of bidding goodbye to our guests while the festival ends, which they happily like doing so but are forced by mankind to take the harder route.
Entering the market, I was greeted to a crowd of handful of sellers who had substantially reduced in number as compared to earlier years and stacking a group of brown colored idols in majority. The woman seller enlightened me that the POP and the color idols have been drastically cut down this year and in the coming year would loose its trail and vanish.
They were in fact being monitored and were charged with an extra levy for every POP or deeply painted idols thus discouraging their act. She continued with a constant effort to induce me in buying the colorless idol seeing my interest wandering away and finally bribed me into coloring some parts of the idol in gold.
With no choice left, I finally killed my desire of a colorful form and befriended him to enjoy his company for the next three days. After all, what matters is the divinity that blesses us, be it in any color, size, form or material. Further, it is also equally important that we bid farewell to him with utmost dignity which doesn’t mean respecting him only until visarjan but also help him to completely dissolve from his present form in the water body and not let him find himself all alone in a half dissolved state . Well! he definitely deserves our continued respect beyond our homes too.
I realized and embraced the fact that it is high time to start respecting the environment too in parallel, so that we and the coming generations can enjoy this festival with the same spirit and enthusiasm.
As I pen this post we stand to complete 2.5 days with him and during his stay he has ensured to fill our atmosphere completely with love and harmony – cladding into new clothes, enjoying the delicacies of festivities, discovering the existence of neighbors, sharing some happy moments in person with close friends and more importantly taking a moment to thank the Lord for enabling the life sail across swiftly.
Thanks for being our esteemed Guest, all along and accepting our invite each year. You make us feel great with your presence.