"Ganesh Chaturthi" - excitement, grandeur, customs and traditions surrounding this festival is something I like to absorb completely. The whole idea behind celebrating each Indian festival at my place is to introduce our 8 year old son to his Indian roots and to inculcate an understanding and appreciation of what, how and why of our Indian culture. Apart from that, it is a wonderful time to revisit old memories and recreate the magic. Not to mention the festive spread that you get to enjoy in the company of family and friends.
However, this year the scene is a bit different at my place. We are in the process of moving to our new home! What that means is we are dealing with packing, brown boxes and chaos. So keeping that in mind, I kept things simple and opted out of the traditional route of celebration. I thought it would be refreshing to have pretty little vignettes with Ganeshas in different materials as the anchors, scattered all through the home to set the mood for the festivities.
So first up is the Kondapalli Toy Ganesha. Typically used in Dasara Kolus, I decided to bring him out of storage and join in a little early in the celebration. The Kondapalli toys follow a 400 year old tradition and hail from the "Toy Colony" of Kondapalli in Andra Pradesh. Carved out of locally sourced "softwood" known as Tella Poniki, the pieces are hand painted with vegetable dyes and vibrant enamel colors to breathe life into the creation. The most popular of these toys are the Dasavatarams (ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu). I've paired my Ganesha with soft peach colored roses gently tucked into a Moroccan tea glass and a traditional brass arti diya for a traditional touch.
Next, we have a Ganesha fashioned out of "Resin". A piece that I've had for more than 20 years. Bought at a local arts and crafts fair in Bangalore, the elaborate detailing on it was something that I fell in love with at the first glance. I had originally placed it as a good luck charm in my car (in India). When we moved to the US, he moved with us too:)
These beautiful "Terracotta" Ganeshas are one of my absolute favorites. Love their cutesy aura. The larger one I picked myself from Pottery Town in Bangalore (again ages ago) and the smaller one was one of the items that I looted from my parents place;) With little terracotta diyas acting as urlis, this vignette is all about earthy tones.
A contemporary "Glass" Ganesha takes center stage in this vignette. I love the opaque quality of this figurine and especially enjoy looking at it when the evening sun casts a warm glow on it. Looks comfortable in the company of my brass inkpot that's multitasking as my vase for this vignette.
This traditional vignette has a "Brass" Ganesha as its focal point. As its backdrop, a pretty calendar framed makes for some great art. Strings of lotus seed and rudraksha beads together with red roses housed in my brass mortar completes the look.
And finally, a simple vignette that echoes the various greens of nature. An inlaid stone marble table top forms the base for this vignette with the inlay patterns forming an almost rangoli like effect. The Green Aventurine Natural "Stone" Ganesha looks serene in his natural setting with a brass vintage rice measuring cup serving as a vase for some fresh cut stems from the garden.
The warmest of wishes to you and your family on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi !
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Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.