Home > accidents, Bombay, cars, Ganesh Festival > The great darshan – Lalbaug cha Raja

The great darshan – Lalbaug cha Raja

The talk

Me: Mom, lets go to Lalbaug for the darshan. Mom: When so and so went there, they had to stand in line for more than 12 hours ! From Morning 10’o clock till night 11!….Β  Me: We wont have to do that as we’ll go during odd hours… Mom: Not now. Your sis wants to go there too. we’ll all go together!

The darshan

So sis and I decide to go to Siddhivinayak on Tuesday. Our logic was – it being Ganesh festival and swine flu, the crowds will be diluted and less in numbers.And we were right! We did not have to wait for even 20 mins at Siddhivinayak temple to get the darshan.

The diversion

I had done it before – When people had to wait for 10-12 hours in the queue, I went on my whim and was able to get the darshan in 1-2 hours! And today I felt like doing that… So instead of turning the 2 wheeled menace left, I turned it right! Sis was immediately excited – “Are we going to Lalbaug? Why are we turning right? Did you forget the road?”. Lest she protests, I pretended to not hear her under the helmet πŸ˜› We found a nice parking spot for the 2 wheeler and started walking towards the Ganpati pandal. We were looking for something that said “Lalbaug cha Raja”!

The Instinct

Sis had been to the same pandal more recently than me. She even had a good sense of direction (at least, that’s what I thought!). I asked her if we were at the right place, and she said yes. The decorations were grandiose and there was also a queue and crowd. I believed her. The queue was less and I attributed this fact to my keen instinct for such things! It was not till we were in the queue and waiting for the darshan when we realised we are in the wrong pandal! This was Ganesh Galli and Lanbaug cha raja was 2 lanes away πŸ™‚ The man who shared ths deep insight with us also told us that the queue there was only 20 mins long. He had just had the darshan there! WOW! 20 mins @ Lalbaug is like winning the Ganpati lottery! People have to wait 10 hours and more to get a glimpse of the elephant head god! My instinct proved to be correct!

The other pandal

The other pandal was not what we were looking for, but it was still the same God and the decorations were good here. So we decided to stay. It was here that we decided to call home and ask mom to come to where we were. “Mom, the queue is only 20 mins long, please come soon” She refused! We both were livid! I suggested we skip the darshan and go to pick her. But only after taking the darshan here.

DecorGaneshGalli2009

Ganesh Galli Ganpati 2009

The idol and the decor were both nice @ Ganesh galli.

About turn

We decided to take a cab on our way back as there would be parking issues. But I had a good parking spot in mind and we ended up taking theΒ car as it would be faster. We would park the car at a distance and then take a cab from the parking place to the pandal. We had not reached too far from our house when it happened!

The accident

As the carΒ was descending a bridge, the car in front suddenly slammed on its brakes. I followed suit, but it was a moment where anything can happen as our car, with all 4 wheels locked up, was skidding and the distance between our car and the one in front was gradually diminishing. I had to do something else the result would not turn out to be good. Who knew what had happened ahead and a series of “what ifs” ran thru my head!

As soon as I found an opening I swerved the car to the left and took my foot off the brakes and stepped on the gas. I avoided the car in front and managed to avert disaster – I also managed to catch a fleeting glimpse of the cause – unfortunately, I also saw a cab go over a man lying face down on the road towards the end of the bridge! The idiot cabbie was driving with his lights switched off – a standard but deadly practice amongst the cabbies of Bombay! I presume the man had either been stuck by some other vehicle or he had had the misfortune of falling in front of the vehicle. The man could have been drunk too…

Because of the traffic, I could not wait to find out what happened of the man but a few cars, including the one that was ahead of me, had stopped to help the man. Mom was shaken, sister was stirred! I drove on. The cab responsible for the accident had jumped the signal ahead and fled. A few people on bikes took off after the cab in an attempt to catch him.

The next couple of miles were passed in silence. It was only when some driver cut me off at a circle, and I returned the favour, that mom spoke “Spike!, How are you driving?” she yelled at me…. Normalcy πŸ™‚

I told mom, there is an unwritten rule on the streets of Bombay – If someone cuts you off and you do not return the favour, you will get cut-off by motorists for a whole entire year. “Did you not know that Β mom?” I asked. Sis started laughing… Of course, no such thing exists, but Mom didn’t know that and she bought it πŸ™‚

The Queue

We proceeded as planned, parked the car and took a cab – the queue was long, it also started raining when we got out of the cab. We were told the wait was a good 2 hours from where we were standing! I was disappointed as my instinct did not work and I had to make Mom wait in queue under the rain (we forgot our umbrellas in the car). But I hid my disappointment as I wanted mom n sis to be in a good mood. “The rain will pass in no time, look the queue is moving already.” I said with a smile. Our spirits lifted as the rains slowed and stopped. The queue moved with surprising agility!

But soon the wait proved to be illusionary – the queue started moving fast and we were close to the idol in no time. Mom, sis and I finally got a glimpse of the lord! The wait in the queue lasted a mere 30 minutes in lieu of 2 hours!

The darshan!
Lalbaug cha Raja 2009

Bliss… Mom had a darshan of this famous idol called “lalbaug cha raja” after more than 35 years of living in Bombay! That in itself was deeply satisfying for me!

Note: lalbaug cha raja =King of Lalbaug. Lalbaug is an area in Bombay famous for hosting large Ganesh Idols with lavish decorations during the Ganesh festival. The idol is believed to have divine powers to grant your prayers if you pray with utmost faith and conviction.

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  1. September 1, 2009 at 03:40

    nice images

  2. August 31, 2009 at 11:49

    Hope u kept ur blogger friends in ur prayers….Nice & very refreshing post πŸ™‚
    Well m sure you wouldn’t mind taking me for darshan whenever I come to Mumbai…Well SiddhiVinayak temple would also do though I have been there couple of times πŸ™‚

    • August 31, 2009 at 14:29

      Hi Valerine,
      You wanna have darshan? Sure… why not… lemme know when ur gonna be here and if I’m available, the darshan can be had – but if I’m not available, you should still have the darshan… its a very nice and spiritual experience…

  3. August 30, 2009 at 23:44

    Shanu :
    Btw I dont like the weird profile pic wordpress has given me..chnge it na

    Sure… will get right on to it πŸ˜›

    • August 31, 2009 at 15:21

      Back to check if you have kept your promise and chged the weird profile pic

      Btw..watz with the boxes getting smaller as you keep replyin to the comments? WordPress’s way of telling us to shut up?

      • August 31, 2009 at 15:22

        And no u havent!!

        • August 31, 2009 at 23:12

          Shanu, if you missed the sarcy smiley at the end, let me reiterate… changing your profile pic is NUMBER 1 on my list πŸ˜€

      • August 31, 2009 at 23:11

        ha ha ha – i think you’re right πŸ˜›

  4. August 27, 2009 at 22:53

    Is this post by the same man who once told me that Mumbai traffic is very disciplined?
    Heard due to the swine flu scare the darshan time has been drastically reduced.
    I hope all your prayers come true. ( What did you pray for?)

    • August 28, 2009 at 00:36

      Bombay traffic is disciplined. A guy from Delhi once commented “Wow, you guys actually drive in lanes here!”
      When my friend went to Delhi, he and his friend took delivery of a new car. On their way back, a 2-wheeler crashed into the rear bumper… while my friend from Bombay was angry, the one from Delhi (owner) was calm… His reasoning was “Yeh to hota hi hai. Dekho, saari gaadiyon ke bumpers mein dents hain.” WOW!
      Discipline is relative… For instance, after returning from US, I have realised the importance of Daytime Running Lights. When I switched in the lights in daytime while driving with my dad, he ridiculed me saying “People will say you are man.” My reply was “Why should I care? I do it for my own safety.”
      Besides, we will never know if the guy who was run over was drunk… Bombay is not the safest. Maharashtra has the highest number of road accidents. More than 100,000 people die in India of them… Its not safe… we need to improve a lot. Bombay fares better – that’s my counterpoint to you remark πŸ™‚

    • August 28, 2009 at 00:40

      Hi Aparna,
      Yes, the darshan time has reduced – partly due to swine flu and partly due to better arrangements at pandals. They are all striving for more volume of people rather than the quality of darshan…

      The day is not far when there will be televised darshan and idols will be placed behind bullet proof glasses. I say, stop the pandals and have 1 day as a holiday… And let the idols pass thru the streets in a parade.. A la rio de janerio! What do u think of that?

  5. Vee
    August 27, 2009 at 02:16

    Wow, nice description… I someday wish to have darshan too.

    • August 28, 2009 at 00:30

      Hi Vee,
      You should come to Bombay… its a sight to see!

  6. August 26, 2009 at 22:49

    Wow..Main bhi jaane wali hai..so excited!

    • August 28, 2009 at 00:30

      Hi Shanu,
      Dont tell the God that ur coming… lest he runs away πŸ˜€

      • August 28, 2009 at 22:47

        OMG..I cant blv u said that..u are soo mean spikey..i hate you!I am never ever talkin to u agn **sulks**

        • August 28, 2009 at 23:03

          aarey? why hate me? i m not the one wo’ll run away Shanu.

          • August 28, 2009 at 23:46

            U will b the one running away..wen i punch u πŸ˜›

            • August 29, 2009 at 20:15

              how can u punch me? you are not kanoon….!

              • August 29, 2009 at 23:57

                I do not need lambe haath to punch u..i just need a good aim!

                BTW me went to lalbaugh today πŸ™‚

                • August 30, 2009 at 00:04

                  now that is big catch – good aim… i just might be saved πŸ˜›

                • August 30, 2009 at 00:06

                  And how was it? Hope u had good darshan…. there was some news on radio that Ganpatibappa tried to run away from Lalbaug… was that bcoz of u?

                  • August 30, 2009 at 13:39

                    Ohh God…Mr meano..kabhi sudherga re tu?

                    • August 30, 2009 at 13:40

                      Btw I dont like the weird profile pic wordpress has given me..chnge it na

  7. August 26, 2009 at 21:32

    i actually felt that I was along with you guys for the darshan.. wonderfully put..

    Rane

    • August 28, 2009 at 00:29

      hi Rane,
      Thank you… that was a nice compliment…!

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