This weekend, one of the biggest Hindu festivals started. It is the Ganesh Chaurthi . This festival is to honor the great Lord Ganesh, who is one of the most important gods in the Hindu religion. The festival started this Friday and will last for 10 days. On the first day of the festival families and communities get one of these idols into their home, or to public places, called pandals, where everyone can see them.
I was so fortunate this weekend to have an American colleague with Indian origin with me. With her language skill we managed to get into the most popular pandal, the Lalbaughca Raja.
It is quite difficult to describe how this festival is like. I have been to the crucifixion at the Philippines before, but this was something really different. When people are willing to stand 18 hours in queue to see the idol, it is surely something that is important for the them. But it did not seem like it was the same Holy Spirit as in a catholic festival. It was also very much a party where everyone celebrated.
On Tuesday next week all the idols will be put on the sea. It is expected that some 10 million people will be at Chowpatty beach this day. I’m really not sure whether I should go there or not. It will probably be a once in a lifetime experience, but I’m not so sure when two wanted terrorists lurks around here. What do you think I should do?