Ganesh Pooja

Jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh deva

In her mind at least, the music anticipates, and so

She clicks her tongue to the roof of her mouth,

Intoning, imitating, the vivacious beats of the tabla

The wavelengths of her mind humming along to the palpitations

Within the temple doors

And just as Kashibai did, she opens the door

Eyes ostentatious, plumes of saffron dancing in

Smoky air; her breath is deep, inhaling

The granular fragrance of the temple

As sticks of agarbatti burn in their clay pots

She watches the capricious child, a lone dreamer

Amidst the throngs, waddle and wade across fields of rangoli

As his mother chases after him, curds-soaked hands gleefully

Twirling around him, unfurling like the petals of an budding lotus

Delighting the wandering eye

As the temple bells chime, as the child is scooped up by his mother with a finality,

And now looks around bewildered and lost, she knows it’s time, feels it in her heart–

The swell of one’s soul and spirit as the shenai’s trumpets blows;

Heaven and earth and beyond, united across the skies and stars…

The silken curtains shrouding Ganesh’s clay temple, unmasked

Jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh deva

oh! envisage– pots of rosewater, milk, cream poured over divine clay

Meandering liquids intertwined with the crescent moon

Dovish and mechanical, practiced and preached

Gold and silk and decades of blooms

Garlands of tulsi and chrysanthemum

Sweet scarfs of promise are draped over his neck

Chains of gold and silver, networking across gilded chambers

Seven gates, the flaps of eagles’ wings

And caw of the preeing peacock, a kaleidoscope of colours

Finding and found

Transported… it remains unbeknownst to most

As a dry, orange petal of the garland peels off…

wilts and falls… into Ganesh’s open palms

Safe the wide eyes and open mouth of a little dreamer

Anklet jingling and trumpeting, who caught the sight

This poem is inspired by a scene in the Bollywood film, Bajirao Mastani, in which the Indian festival, Ganesh Pooja, is celebrated. Ganesh Pooja is an important celebration, revolving around the Remover of Obstacles, the God Ganesh, and symbolising his arrival on earth. I hope you like it!

Biography:

Kirtan is a student of the Humanities in Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore. With a passion for writing, he serves as an editor for Cathartic Literature Magazine and a researcher for Thistle Topics. He enjoys curling up with a good Bollywood movie on rainy days, salt and vinegar crisps and a good book.

Cover photo source: https://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-ganesh-chaturthi-2020-subh-muhurat-puja-vidhi-significance-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-festival-2838634