There, there between the sea and the concrete, is a chaos you cannot forget, a madness you can scarcely fathom, a happiness you can forgive: the endless jangle of drums, chants and cheap Hindi music that makes up the festival of Bombay- Ganpati, on Day 5, the Gauri Visarjan.
It is ironic, for I have just watched Umesh Shukla’s Krishan Vs Kanhaiya, that laments the business of religion, the emptiness of ritual, the horror of the expanse of broken idol left behind every year, post a Ganpati Visarjan. Miles and miles of plastic, and broken parts of a God once revered, lie forgotten.It is ironic, for I purposefully take the road by the sea, to witness the mayhem-
Truck roads of revelers in pink, and red, and yellow dancing with abandon- oblivious to the string of cars waiting patiently for them to pass. Roads making way for children, and parents, and the lonely to take stage, movie gaily, give freely,
And, what I see most is how happy everyone is, the children are smiling and mothers are laughing,
Everyone is an enormous smile. And, those of us cooped up in cars, and autos and big red buses do not complain- for it is a fortune- to witness this temporary happiness,
For like pain, and life, happiness is temporary and happiness is good.
And, despite the chaos, the filth, the decadence –
you cannot take away from people what they need,
A shot at madness. A shot at careless vulnerability, at letting go, at chaos
At unadulterated happiness for this is what it means to live,
In the moment, by the sea, dancing wildly, as all the world watches, and all the world waits.