Friday, September 01, 2006

Celebrating ThoppaKutti

That's how Pillaiyar celebrated his day at our house, wearing party hats :)

Ever since I was a kid, the only God I ever liked or prayed to has been Him. With an elephant face and an adorable thoppai, he was the only one who looked more like a friend in my mind.

My first Ganesh Chaturti in Chennai as a toddler, we bought one of those clay images from the market, complete with a paper umbrella and garland. After all the celebrations when it was time to throw the idol in a pond, I threw a huge tantrum refusing to let them even touch my "friend". Amma claims that I rolled on the floor and wailed when Appa tried to take the idol away (I have no recollection of doing sth like that but knowing how I was/am a brat, it is a possibility :D)

Anyway, not wanting to get on my bad books(A wise decision if I may add), they finally gave in and "my clay friend" stayed back at home. Everyday I would do puja just for him and every puja ofcourse, began with an abhishekam. Now what I failed to grasp as a kid was that clay dissolves in water, albeit a little slowly. So with every passing day, my li'l Ganesha changed shape; missing a crown, an ear, a little bit of the trunk (The legend at home talks about how Ganesha sent all that clay back into my head but we shall not dwelve into that today). This went on till he was barely recognisable as The Elephant God tho to me he was always a chubby friend.

Then one fine day while I was sleeping (or out of town, I don't remember) Appa managed to take him out. I don't know if I cried or not after that but then later I found a miniature stone Ganesha to put my trust in, an idol I still have to this day. If you look closely in the pic, the dude wearing an orange party hat and standing in front of Nataraja is Him :)

This year I tried my best to make excellent kozhukattais but then when everything is perfect, sth else will go wrong. So Ganesha had to settle for kozhukattai paste( I had too much water in my idly cooker so they kinda stuck to each other like glue) which tasted very good but hardly looked the shape :D

Plus, I am sure He was just happy that I ended our argument and decided to talk with him and wouldn't notice the shape, or lack of it in his lunch :)


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