Ganesh chaturti 2013

Finally I was going to visit my native village after 7 long years for Ganesh chaturti. I was super excited. This is the first time I was taking my daughter Anagha and I was very eager that she participates in the Ganesh Chaturti celebrations and experiences the fun we had as children. As we drove through the narrow roads on our way to my ancentral village, the childhood days flashed in front of my eyes and I started reminiscing about those days when we would all get together and celebrate the 5 day long Ganesh chaturti festival with much ado. We have a huge ancentral house at our native village in Panchawadi in Goa where my extended family (descendents of ny great grandfather’s father) get together for this festival. With fond memories in my mind of singing aartis loudly and sitting on the huge balkav (patio) outside the house or playing a variety of games I looked forward to reliving those experiences all over again.
The moment I arrived in panchawadi I sensed a changed air but couldn’t pinpoint my finger on what was it that was different. The balkav which at one time would be so occupied that we kids were made to sit in the older ones lap, now has a deserted look. The aartis have lost their spirit and are sung just for the sake of it.  At one time there used to be 2-3 pangats for meals now the few scattered people self serve food at sit wherever they find  place. It then struck me that the biggest culprit is time. Time has passed and along with it made changes that are irreversible.  I looked around and found that everyone has suddenly aged. All my uncles who used to be enthusiastic participants in the balkav conversations now have some or the other health issues thereby making the evening gatherings scanty.  Several of my cousins who used to be active coordinators in the games and other activities are now married thus leaving a void never to be filled.
I am feeling sad to see a once flourishing house decay slowly. I sincerely pray to Ganpati Bappa to restore this house to its past glory.

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