Truly A RAJA! Lalbaughcha Raja Up, Close And Personal

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LalBaugcha Raja
LalBaugcha Raja
LalBaugcha Raja

Ganpatiji is Mumbai’s favourite God.

Imagine this scenario – you are coming back from work, drained out and stuck in the jam of jams and suddenly you notice the pot-bellied God sitting in the car next to you or on a rekdi, all saja-dhaja, on his way to someone’s home. The heart just melts. Suddenly, everything else is in the background and he grabs all your attention. Haina?

LalBaugcha Raja
LalBaugcha Raja

Well, he grabs the attention of Mumbai as a city! The newspapers, news channels, radio stations, every nukkad and painful traffic snarls  on day 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 – will just make sure you do not forget he is visiting. Even if he hasn’t come to your home, your friends and neighbours will invite you over to visit their guest of honour. Don’t ask how busy my Dad gets on day 1 – so many ‘ded din ke Ganpati’ to be visited! There is just that one day window. And then there are others who will grace you for 10 full days. But you will not be the only ones to take his blessings. Standing 90 hours to make sure you are the first one to touch His feet, just shows the level of his popularity. Of course I am talking about Lalbaugcha Raja!

Me with Bhaktjan
Me with Bhaktjan

Last year, I had the privilege to host a show live from Lalbaug. We had a booth at the exit of the pandal and gave listeners a firsthand experience of this unbelievable phenomenon. I had never visited Him before this and had no idea what I was getting into. A sea of people was getting out of the pandal at any given time and none of them had any complains about how long they had to wait to get a glimpse of this Raja. They said, ‘unke darshan se sab thakaan dur ho gayi!’  Even my eyes got moist the first time I looked at this magnanimous idol.

Our booth at Lalbaugcha Raja
Our booth at Lalbaugcha Raja

There are two types of lines here. One which leads you to his feet. Up, close and personal! They say if you want to ask for something – get ready to bear 10-12 hours of waiting and then touch his feet and come out. And the other is Mukh Darshan, which is basically having a look at him from a little distance, it’s pretty close even then, but you don’t get to touch him. This is usually much faster.

Lalbaughcha Raja 2012
Lalbaughcha Raja 2012

I used to talk to these people who came from far and away and smeared their foreheads with kumkum (from his feet). Most of them also came to thank him for gracing them with kids and life-partners… he is known to do wonders in those areas. My mum too asked for my marriage – and well, guess what? I am sitting here all married and writing this now.

No one really knows where all this began… I am sure that will be another post all together. But the crowd keeps increasing every year! What I do not understand though is – what gives people the patience and faith to put themselves through all the crowd and dhakkas and hours of waiting to see the lord? He is truly a Raja.

But then again, does he need for you to do all this to get his blessings? Isn’t he watching over us all the time irrespective of whether we visit him at Lalbaug or not? Is the wish-granting power, the miracles, an outcome of collective faith and focussed universal energies? I wonder. But I do know this… one look, and he can take all my worries away! Ganpati Bappa…Morya! Pudhchya Varshi..laukar ya!

 

Post By Divya Sharda (14 Posts)

Born in Delhi, brought up in Mumbai, ex-radio presenter, recently married, new to Bangalore, procrastinator, wanna-be bitch, can kill kids who ruin her afternoon naps with cricket screams.

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Divya Sharda

Divya Sharda
Born in Delhi, brought up in Mumbai, ex-radio presenter, recently married, new to Bangalore, procrastinator, wanna-be bitch, can kill kids who ruin her afternoon naps with cricket screams.