Not to forget all the fights I used to have with my dad and sister. It used to be fun filled.
End of the day mom used to get tired making us all calm.
We used to be awake till late night keeping everything ready for the wonderful welcome for Mr ganesha the next day.
We never celebrated Gowri as my mom said that families who celebrate Varamahalakshmi don't celebrate Gowri festival. So in our house we had the custom of celebrating Varamahalakshmi which is usually celebrated few weeks before Ganesha Chathurthi.
The next day always seemed to be very tiring. Dad used to wake us up very early. He wanted us to put Rangoli and get ready for the Pooja. But we, being the lazy sisters always used to ask him for extra 5 to 10 minutes to sleep and would doze of for a long time. Then my mom would come screaming and asking for us to get up and start the work.
Rangoli is a must for us. Though I can never do it like my mom, I used to do it somehow. My sister was always a helper here. By the time we finish the rangoli stuff, we would hear our dad calling for us. But unless we hear a praise of word from our dad & mom, we would never leave the place. That certainly means my mom would give us some nice words that would make us feel proud of our efforts.
By the time Pooja starts we would be so tired and hungry. Though we would be able to smell yummy food getting prepared in the kitchen we are not allowed to touch it unless it is served to god first. But here even God is made to wait. He has to wait until my dad keeps all things ready, reads some stories and sings some bhajans etc etc. Then my mom too does so many types of Poojas where we kids were only supposed to sit and watch them do things. Also, we had to help them wherever they need our help.
I being the eldest used to transfer all my work to my sister. :P It used to be fun to hear my sister screaming at me for everything. :)
Festival means late lunch at our house. At times, it could extend till 3 or 4 PM. My stomach would always be well prepared for the late lunch.
Mom would prepare yummy kadabu, kosambri and chitranna along with the regular meal.
We would have guests and neighbours coming to see Ganesha in the evening. I used to visit my neighbour houses where they keep Ganesha's. Mom would always stay at home and would never leave Ganesha alone :) She used to say that we should not leave him alone and lock the door.
By around 8 PM, we would set things ready to bid Bye to our Ganesha. Dad would do one last Pooja and Mom used to make us ask one last thing from Ganesha at that time i.e. to ask him to come to our house happily every year the same way. Then I and my dad would go to a lake that we had near our house. I still remember the scary lake that used to be almost full due to heavy rains. We would go to a safe place where we could finish all the remaining customs. I used to watch the big lake that stood silently in the night without making any noise. At last, my dad would dip Ganesha three times and finally drop him in the lake. After the visarjane, we would sit for sometime and then leave back to home.
Every year Ganesha comes to our house. Most of the times we would make him stay for a day due to our busy schedules. If possible, we would keep him for 3 days.
For the first time in 2010, I had to miss the festival because of working far from my home. I will never forget that sad feeling of missing home because of my work. I did pray to god to make it possible the next year.
Unfortunately, this year too the same continues. My parents are feeling really bad for my absence at home. We celebrate so many festivals, but Ganesha Chaturthi used to be something more exciting. I would not count Deepavali here, because thats full of enjoyment and missing deepavali means missing all the fun and happiness.
But still I know I will have good plans to celebrate Ganesha Chathurthi wherever I'm. So I'm all set to welcome Ganesha in Bengaluru this time. Wishing you too a very happy festival..
Ganapathi Bappa Moreya ! ! ! :)