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Shukr Usgaokar



Shukr Usgaokar


Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi

2 mins

I see people who do not care for each other,

Forced by pretence and custom to come together.

I see families singing Aartis every evening,

Who know the words but not their meaning.

I see crowds upbeat, in the mood for celebration,

But in their hearts, for the Lord, no real devotion.

I see roads blocked and jammed, for hours at a stretch, by processions,

But also the ambulance driver, hapless and helpless, gritting his teeth out of frustration.

I see money being splurged on festivities and extravagance,

But few would know what Chaturthi means and its significance.

I see amidst amongst all the merry-making and gaiety,

Bal Gangadhar Tilak forgotten from public memory.

To revive the festival, he fervently tried,

Through mass celebration, bridge the caste divide,

And foster amongst us a sense of pride,

For our country and some much-needed unity.

I see people shouting loudly, “Ganapati Bappa Morya!”

But ask them who is Morya, they’ll have no idea.

I see rivers, lakes, and ponds being used for immersion,

Choked with filth as they already are, another cause of pollution.

I see firecrackers, for no reason, being lit and flung,

Till late at night, a relentless onslaught on the ears and lungs.

I see the face of the Lord everywhere,

But not the tears pouring down from his eyes,

The God of learning, the remover of obstacles,

While his devotees revel, he silently cries.

I’ve seen too much, more than I can handle,

The mockery that we’ve made of this festival,

People will, as always, be back next year,

And hopefully, with the blessings of the Lord, a little wiser.

“Same festival, same ritual, same place, same people. But the glimmer of celebration is decreasing each year instead of increasing.”

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