A pint-sized Nandi. So small, one would have to kneel and fold to whisper anything in his ear. Rishikesh.
A roadside shrine in Dehradun. I really thought Pahalwan Baba would be better built. And wearing something … somewhat different.
Outside the Lower Parel office of Mudra, this Ganesh blesses the cars and junta jostling by. I believe he’s been around for a few months, but I only caught sight of him looming largely this past week. When I think of mudras, the dancer’s poses, it’s not the agency that comes to mind but the shadow warrior in Rushdie’s Haroun – easily the best book he’s ever written. Next to this Ganesh is a multi-armed goddess. I’ll get her next time there’s no car blocking her length. Meanwhile please to note that there is a fresh hibuscus tucked between Ganesh’s toes, then, and every day since. 🙂
I live right by one of the largest temples in Mumbai. But I can imagine that it’s not exactly convenient on a work day to get in a queue and await your turn for a tryst with the deity. So why not get your blessing and your karma equation balanced on the go? Well, now you can! The concept is simple: you pay for some hay to the man who owns both the cow and the feed -> you accrue good karma in your spiritual kitty! The enterprising owner of this particular mobile salavation army has parked his sacred cow outside a busy bank next to a major bus stop! (Extra bonus: since the cow is not a stray, you don’t have to worry about the Rs. 500 fine that the municipality has decided to slap on anyone feeding animals *rolls eyes*). The cow is doing great, btw, even in the rain. And I think I’m going to have to interview the cow-man soon…
It’s Janmashtmi today. And if you don’t know what that is, look it up. I had to 😀 I mean, I know it’s Krishna’s birthday but having been away from Mumbai for the last 16 Janmashtmis, I had lost sight of both scale, and, urm, commercialization. So, I was educated today (and I confess I called the cops on some enthusiastic dhol beaters at 1am.) By 8 a.m., the loud disco bhajans and cheering crowd told me something was up. Across the house and also behind it, we had what are called Dahi Matkas. To mimic Krishna’s penchant for stealing ghee, they hang this clay pot pretty high and then acrobatic men make a human pyramid to claim it. Then I saw in the papers that the Andheri matka was worth the most money (Rs. 25,000!) I reached Worli and passed several youth in trucks, wearing team shirts, going from locality to locality to win the pot of ‘ghee’ ($$?) The cab driver told me the matkas near my house are “small and not worthwhile.” And then when I got near Banyan Tree, I spotted a team in action.
I later heard that the “small” matka near my house was eventually lowered a bit because all the teams that tried failed to reach it. I don’t know who won but they’re still making a racket!