Pune: The Ganesh festival, which is celebrated passionately in the state, is also celebrated with zeal by the Tamil community. More than four lakh Tamilians residing in the city for last several years have been celebrating the Ganpati festival for a day-and-half while some celebrate for 10 days at their homes.
Sekhar Saptarishi, Secretary of Tamil Sangam, said, “In Chennai, the Ganpati festival is celebrated for 10 days but outside Chennai. we have festivities for one-and-half days only. We make Ganpati idol out of soil from the riverbed and a day before Ganesh Chaturthi we install the idol. For last 40 years we are celebrating Ganpati festival with traditions and rituals which are not very different from those of Maharashtrians.”
Mythily Krishnamurthy said, “In our tradition we do not have a common Ganpati festival because our ancestors never had a common Ganpati idol installed in a pandal. The Ganpati idol was installed at individual homes and this tradition was carried forward. In our tradition we have to visit nine Ganpati idols during Ganeshotsav, whether in mandir, pandal or friends or relatives’ houses.”
Bhaskar Iyer said, “Before performing any puja, we make Ganpati idol of turmeric powder. This idol is worshipped first and then the desired puja is performed. We consider Lord Ganpati as a supreme God and without his blessings we do not perform any rituals.”
Along with ‘ukadiche modak’ made from jaggery and coconut, they also make four types of modak along with other Tamilian delicacies. Mythily Krishnamurthy, from Baner said, “We make four types of modak including the usual modak made of jaggery and coconut. The other types include urad dal with green chilli modak, sesame seeds with jaggery modak, and modak from channa dal with jaggery. There are other delicacies as well along with modak including wada, appam, dosa, idli and others.”
Bhaskar Iyer, a resident of Somwar Peth, said, “Since I am born in Pune and brought up in Peth area, I celebrate Ganeshotsav for 10 days and perform all the rituals in the same way Maharashtrians do, but with a pinch of Tamilian rituals. We make four types of modaks and other Tamilian delicacies. Also we perform aarti, prasad (holy offerings) and other usual rituals are followed.”
Another Tamilian resident of Wanawadi, does not do the visarjan (immersion) of the Ganpati idol but keeps it for a year till the next Ganpati festival.
K Balasubramanian said, “Ganeshotsav is celebrated in a different way at my house. We bring the Ganpati idol a day before Ganesh Chaturthi and the idol is not immersed on the day of visarjan but kept and worshipped all year long. Then, the next year, we immerse the old idol and install the new one.”
“I believe the Ganpati idol which is brought home is not only in an idol form but I connect to it emotionally and spiritually, which is why I keep it year long and immerse the idol once the new idol is brought home,” Balasubramanian further added.