I was all of 15 years, and a few months past my high school life. There was a dramatic change that took place in the few months of exposure i got after schooling. I had become little courageous vis-a-vis interacting with people.
Community celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi festival was a trend that had caught the imagination of Bangaloreans, those days. Youth associations generally took initiative in pitching up big shamiyana and placing Idol of the elephant god inside it. Poojas were regularly conducted along with variety programmes in the evenings to entertain the crowds.
I was quite fascinated by the great appeal of these festivities. Nothing much for the worship part, but for the getting together of so many people at one place. I badly wanted to replicate such successful celebration of the festival in our own colony. But there was no mentor to look up to for support.
Somehow i succeeded in getting another guy excited with my plan of celebrating the festival. We managed just enough money to print a receipt book for collecting donation. Another couple of younger friends joined in for collecting donations from all and sundry. Just in time, we managed a decent enough amount to pitch a tent in our colony and also place a large enough Ganesh idol. The moment the women in the colony saw this development, they were all praises for us. They took part with whole hearted interest on a daily basis in conducting poojas, distribution of prasad, etc.
The grand finale of dipping the idol in water (we chose a well) was attended by all youngsters in our colony. The boisterous kids sang paeans to lord Ganesh and it reached a crescendo while dipping the idol. Till date, that festival of Ganesh Chaturthi has been very special to me.
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