Ganesh Chaturthi was the happiest time of my childhood.

Photo of Ganesh

Of all the festivals, I loved the Ganesh Festival most in my childhood.

Photo by Lokesh Paduchuri on Unsplash

This was the reason.

We lived on the 3rd floor. But on the 2nd floor lived this gentleman named "Sonavane" (I may be wrong about the last name, it's been almost 35/40 years now). Mr-Sonawane had 2 boys. They did not live with their father, but the 2 boys and their mother both lived in Pune.

But during Ganpati Festival, Mr Sonavane's 2 children used to come to Mumbai to visit Ganesh Festival as their father had been hosting Ganesh Murthi at their home for years,

It was an annual custom. So I was always there, from fetching the Ganesh murti to the visarjan. It made me feel like I belonged. And being able to meet my friends once a year, who seemed to be very different personalities, I was happy to meet them. I think the younger one, who was a year older than me, was called Yogesh. He had a very gentle temperament. All my friends were a bit boisterous, he was sober and subdued with different manners. He even spoke differently.

Unfortunately, I never really enjoyed this festival as an adult. I guess my sense of what I appreciated had changed as I grew up. Some things are best enjoyed only in childhood and these childhood experiences cannot be repeated.