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Gowri-Ganesha festivals celebrated

Mysore joined rest of the centres in celebrating the Gowri and Ganesha festivals, two chief festivals of India and Hindus. The Gowri festival was on September 6 and it was followed on the next day by the famous Ganesha festival.

The Gouri Pooja is more confined to the houses, women dressed in colourful and richly embroidered sarees worshipping the Goddess, a form of Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva. The Ganesha festival is performed both at homes and outside, by individuals and enthusiastic groups. The celebrations at public pandals will have the added attraction of music and discourse programmes in the evenings, making the festival attractive.

For artistes like Srinivas, it is a busy season of preparing clay figures of Gouri and Ganesha of different sizes and shapes. He and his family begin work at least two months in advance by collecting the best suited clay and colours, to prepare idols from about three inches to nearly six feet. The midlle size figures are mostly in demand for houses, while the big ones are meant for public installations. The small ones are for kids.

Srinivas claims his ancestors hail from Vijayanagar. They migrated after the grand empire collapsed and continued their profession of preparing wood, pump and clay idols for worship, both in houses and temples. The highest Ganesha, standing a little over six feet, was the most admired by popular film and music personalities like V.Shantharam and Jesudas.

During the busy season, the entire family engage in preparing the idols and meeting the requirements of their customers. While his expert hands prepare huge clay idols of pot-bellied Ganesha, without any stuffings inside, his sons, Shama Sunder and Aswathanarayana, ready the medium and small ones. The women folk help in giving the idols the rich colourful finish.

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