the past few days in mumbai have been full of absolute loud, crazy, religious chaos. of the good kind. the people of bombay love to celebrate ganesha chuturthi, an 11 day festival in honor of the hindu elephant-headed god ganesh. it’s full of spontaneous music, dancing in the streets, random parades, colorful powder, flashing lights, beautiful flowers & millions upon millions of ganesh statues traveling through the streets on gigantic floats.
one early morning, my mother & i walked barefoot 15 km through the streets of mumbai to a ganesh temple as a pilgramage. and no, your eyes do not deceive. i said barefoot. the streets of mumbai are much like NYC streets. cept where the city is all about dodging piles of doggie doo, here it’s all about dodging cow poo. will say this though. bovine excrement is bigger, greenier & mushier. which makes avoiding it an obstacle course of epic consequences.
and yes, i do feel sorry for the woman who’s giving me a pedicure the day i return to western civilization.
the ganesh festival ends with the resurgence, where all the ganeshes are paraded to the beach & walked into the water. i joined my aunt’s parade in bringing her 5 foot 8 inch bejeweled ganesh statue to juhu beach & submerging it in the waves. needless to say, partaking in this centuries old tradition was truly spectacular, never to be forgotten.
the past three weeks in india made me realize one thing. just how much i love my toilet. it’s white & clean. it has a seat & flushes on command. and there’s always a roll of angel soft toilet paper nearby. oh, i’m getting weepy.