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Ganapati and the elephantastic noise

It has been 9 years that Ganesh festival was impressing my eyes (see previous notes); now it mostly impresses my ears!

Below is the typical musical scene I face when going home. And also once I am home, sound-proofing not being a forte of Indian houses.

Every year millions of Ganesh idols, the God with an elephant head, are put into water, taking off with him the sins of the poor mortals. The latter spending fortunes(yes yes, even poor people invest a lot. Especially the poor in fact) to have the best looking (or most impressive) Ganesh of the neighbourhood. And to let everybody know about it - the most effective way being using huge speakers and playing techno music full fledge.

On top of aggressing ears, the festival makes me feel bad, personally. It is so bad for the environment, these tons of Plaster of Paris (which does not dissolve at all even after 48 hours, unlike clay (source)) and heavily toxic paints thrown in the sea every year…

But let us be positive! There are some good initiatives bringing hope. Immersing the idols in tanks instead of rivers. The chocolate statue drown in milk and distributed to poor children. The Ganesh made out of fish food with natural paints made out of spices. So of course it creates metaphysical problems, and the religious experts have been debatting about the future of the immersed Ganapatis. Ending up in a landfill? In the digestive system of fishes? Or in the tummy of poor kids? Is it religiously correct? I have obviously no theological expertise but ending up as trash rejected by the sea is not the sexiest thing either!

Sources:; ;;


Ganesh immersion in video!

Every year I go see Ganesh departure in the sea… (The idea here is that Ganesh, the God with an elephant head, comes in people’s homes every year and after a couple of days (up to 10) he leaves, carrying everbody’s sins with him in the purifying water.)

But for the first time I went at night on the main day of immersion…

Walking home took me two hours. Partly because it was overcrowded (especially Juhu Tara Road where all the processions happen) and partly because I was so busy filming!


It was amazing to see the joy, the fervour, the passion!

People also kept coming to my mini video camera and smiled and sang.

My ass got groped only twice which is a performance seeing the number of people gathered…


A truly energising and incredible experience!


Pictures of my previous Ganapati festivals are here. 


Here is the short version (10 min) of the 2 hours of shooting I did:


And here the long (30 minute) version!


Ganesh Factory

Here we are, it is the end of the harvest, the beginning of the festivities. When the rain will stop it and then we will fully enjoy!!

We entered the Ganapati time, the festival of Ganesh which I am quite familiar with nowll! (see ).


And this year, while going to see the Krishna celebrations, I discovered a Ganesh workshop near Elphinston station. And not just any Ganesh, giant ones, those of the temples.

Simply impressive…


Ganapati preparations, Mumbai - Août 2011