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Anjali Phougat says the memorable part of Ganpati celebration this year is going for “Ganpati darshan wearing masks while following social distancing”


Ganpati celebrations are one, but given the raging pandemic, the scenario is very different – Jyothi Venkatesh

Agreeing, fashion designer and humanitarian Anjali Phougat shares that many temples have strict guidelines this year, which says that those coming for Ganesha darshan should wear masks and maintain distance. Appreciating the effort, Anjali feels such initiatives are the need of the hour.

“Although Ganesha has many attributes, he is readily identified by his elephant head.

He is widely revered, more specifically, as the deity who is believed to be the bringer of good luck and remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the lord of wisdom.

Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a 10-day festival marking the birth of the elephant-headed deity, Ganesha, who is the god of prosperity and wisdom.

I was invited to this festival by my dear friend Geetanjali Chenchalani when I was living in Arkansas (US).

She is from Rajasthan and had invited me to her house for Ganpati Darshan. I remember her asking me to whisper my wish to Ganpati’s ear and it will get fulfilled. And, in reality my wish did come true.

So, after 2008, I celebrated Ganpati every year,” she says. We don’t bring ganpati home or do visarjan in my family in india so by introduce I meant she was first person to invite in usa for ganpati celebration and explained her beliefs and significance to me)

Talking about celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in Ohio, US, where she presently resides, Anjali adds that the most amazing thing is that while they are living far from their country, they “celebrate Indian culture with full conviction and devotion”.

Glad more people are creating eco friendly ganpati Ji these days and do the visarjan in water without harming the nature.

“Our friends in Ohio invite us every year for Ganpati and we go to temples and celebrate with them.

It feels no less than a proper family celebration,” she continues, “Lord Ganesha is called Vighnaharta.

‘Vighna’ basically refers to the problems humans face in life, and ‘Harta’ refers to someone who takes away or solves these problems.

So basically Lord Ganesha bestows his mercy upon us and takes away all the miseries, problems and sadness from us.”

On the ending note, Anjali mentions that the most memorable part of Ganpati celebration this year would be going for “Ganpati darshan wearing a mask” while, of course, “following social distancing guidelines”.

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