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We celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi in our building, and women organised everything right from getting police permission. But the ‘honour’ of carrying the Ganesha idol was of the men!
For over one week, the ladies organized the whole event, made detailed puja lists, collected the donations, debated and finalized who will do what. These ladies had their own jobs, kids to take care of, cooking to be done, house to be cleaned, but they happily did all the organising as they were excited to have the Ganesh Chaturthi puja in the building.
Everyone of us is away from our home towns, and this celebration was a way of bringing together everyone and not miss home as much.
It was not an easy task getting the permission from the MC Committee (who make the rules for the building). We ladies would spend almost hour everyday trying to convince the MC where we should have the puja, and understanding the rules and regulations.
Our budget was very small. We did not want to impose on people to pay but we would ensure that everyone got prasad. The aarati sheet needed to be printed. The fliers needed to be made, so got permission from the MC and then got it pasted on every lift. It was no easy feat as we had our homes also to manage.
Then the police called and said we needed to get permission from them. I was very scared to go to the police station. It was just a day before the Puja. I saw the lockups. But I went, accompanied by a friend and my husband, and got the permission.
We women were decorating the place until 1 am. We could not afford a decorator and used our own curtains, torans, etc to decorate the place. We were climbing on tables and sticking the hooks. We did everything.
The next day evening when it was time to get the idol, I asked my husband to take us in the car. To my dismay I was told by some people that only the men could carry the idol. I was aghast. My friend and I had been hoping to after all the work we put in, but “only our husbands could carry the idol”. Unfortunately, it was a building affair and I could not protest.
The Puja went on smoothly. Every man, woman and kid got ample fruits, laddu, modak after every aarati. The aarati was for everyone, and we kept singing the songs till everyone completed their aarati. After one and half days, it was time for the Ganapati to leave.
Again to my horror and dismay, the idol was carried by the men. The woman just danced.
I was so sad. We women organize the event and do all the hard work. And our traditions tell us that only the men can carry the idol. This is very wrong, something that I would never allow in my family. Why can’t the women carry the idol after all their hard work?
Image source: YouTube
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