Ganesh Chaturthi and the ensuing celebrations — at home and in public places for up to 10 days — makes people overcome every restriction, of time, space and energy. People full of enthusiasm, celebrate the festival in whatever capacity possible. Convenience of time and space never becomes a hindrance, but yes, space constraints can slightly dampen your celebrations.
Nitin Beldare, a Pune-based mechanic, says that he has a tiny house in the city’s Sadashiv Peth area and gets Ganapati home every year. “Yes, we do have a small house but that doesn’t hamper our celebrations. Yes, the small space makes elaborate celebrations a little difficult, but we make do somehow,” says Beldare.
For such small homes, interior decorator and architect Revati Datir offers some solutions. “One important advice is to create spaces that are multi-functional. Most of us are sure that we are going to get the lord home every year. So sit down and plan it well. Decide on one corner of the house where you will place the idol every year and design it in a way that you can use it every year and at the same time, use it for some other purpose for the rest of the year,” she suggests.
Megha Patil, a Mumbai-based nurse, also gets the Elephant God home every year. In a two-room house in Chembur, Patil often struggles with space given her large family and friends visiting them during the festivities. But she uses some simple home-maker logics to work things out. “First things first, small house means a small Ganapati idol. We choose one corner of the house and dedicate it completely to the celebrations. We put up a nice bedsheet on the table and make it look good with simple decorations. Huge and ambitious decorations in a small house is a bad idea, so I always stick to basic floral arrangements,” she tells us.
“Another way of working things out is placing my couch outside in the verandah. It has two advantages. One, it makes space in the house, and two, the guests feel comfortable sitting outside and catching up,” she says, adding, “The food and dining is one area that becomes a bit messy. But cooperative neighbours and some adjustments help me.” One more reason, why a fixed space works wonders, Datir says. That way, you don’t end up spending time on shifting things every year.
Foldable furniture, according to her, can be the solution to much of our worries. “Something that you can open up during festivities — be it Ganapati or other such festivals — and fold it back into a smaller item for the rest of the year, is a great idea for small spaces,” she advises. A good location for such a piece of furniture, she says, is the area between the kitchen and the drawing room, considering most houses now have a combined kitchen and drawing room area. You may have a table or a platform installed here and can go for a foldable one, which can otherwise be used to contain your microwave or induction plate.
Using innovative lights to brighten the idol area is another suggestion Datir makes. “Don’t go for extra fancy lights that will just jazz up your god. Instead, you can use simpler lights that will brighten the area while making it look larger and more spacious,” she says.
Space or no space, our favourite god is on its way and we are more than ready to welcome it. So, make your small space a little more interesting for Bappa this year.