Wednesday, September 11

DIY Ganesha efforts this festival

As during every year, I looked forward to this year's festival season too. And particularly towards Ganesha Chathurthi, that gives all of us a chance to get our hands dirty! It is so heartening when friends return to their creative side, pick up that lump or clay, and roll it to Ganesha shape, year after year. And, its time for a Ganesha post!

The number of those indulging in DIY among my friends has only increased. Never mind the quality of your effort. Making your own little Ganesha keeps the essence of this festival grounded. From earth, to earth, with minimal or no damage to the earth, for those blessings from heaven. And with your own hands.

Am sharing here, some efforts by friends. Am also penning this post, praying for my dear friend in Dipti Nair, who is gracing through grief, but whose creativity inspires me a great deal.

Sankgetha Sripathy of Smudgy Trove Facebook page was super generous in sharing step-by-step pictures of the cute little smudgy Ganeshas she made.

Vinayaka chaturthi, clay, beads, terracotta
Sankgetha is a pro at terracotta jewellery, which is why she always has some wet clay around home. No wonder the Dubai resident did not struggle with the basic Ganesha material.

If you notice, she used other materials such as toothpicks, carving stick, and some beads.

The next lot of pictures are self explanatory.

real clay for home use

how to make Ganesha at home

how to make turban for ganesha or ganpati

Ganesh Chaturthi DIY

Notice how simple it gets to make the turban for the deity. Roll the clay into a long thread and coil it on the trunk's top.

how to make ganesha turban
how to make ganesha at home
Notice how the cute little cone of clay comfortable sits on top of the turban to give it a natural feel! Now for the body of the lord.

handmade ganesha with clay

how to make ganesha or vinayagar or vinayakudu
This is how her Ganesha looked after finishing. Pasting below, picture of her two Ganeshas. She used some beads to embellish. And a thread to symbolise the divine serpent that ties his belly.
how to make DIY ganesha
Here is how they looked on the altar.

homemade, handmade, how to ganesha
Ganesha chaturthi

The next effort is a more colourful one, by Pavani Prasad who now lives in Netherlands. She used cake fondant for her Ganesha. And the result is remarkable.

cake as ganesha
Here is a picture of the materials she used. Fondant sheeds of different colours, sprinkles and cake beads. Last year, she used food colours to make her piece.

how to make Ganesha with fondants
I like the detailing here. Green base to symbolise a large leaf, and a crimson base beneath to match the turban, and sprinkles to add sparkle.
Those tiny bananas on a betel leaf and the mouse only add to the feel. Below is a picture of the deity, worshipped with grass and flowers.
how to Ganesha
Isn't that lovely? As for the immersion, Pavani says she will leave it in her garden so that rains take care of the `back-to-earth' part.

On similar lines, my friend Deepa Balakrishnan's three-year old son Kabir got all  excited with play-doh or kids' modelling clay, and created his own version of Ganesha, two days before the festival. In her Facebook post, she wrote of his sudden zeal to do it early morning on a rainy weekend. Mommies have the toughest jobs on earth!

This is why I love kids' craft! How much more colourful and cute can a God's impression get? We adults are so conscious about colours to use, texture and sundry other tidbits. But put clay in the hands of a toddler and creativity peaks.

This Ganesha has a red tummy, green trunk and ears, and to top it, mouse seated at his legs too! I so wish those cute little food balls on that yellow plate were edible! They look so real!

Ganesha kids craft

Toddler teaches how to make Ganesha

Veteran journalist Janaki Murali from Bangalore took the trouble to attend a workshop, to make an eco-friendly Ganesha for her home. The idol, she made with clay.

I love the grand ears that she painted with poster colours at home, besides using the real cloth turban and his clothes. She used toothpicks for the lord's tusks.

eco-friendly Ganesha how to
Most of all, it is the size of the idol that floors me. Not big.

Ganesha pooja of eco-friendly Ganesha

how to worship Ganesha

Size does matter when you celebrate a festival. It's better to stick to smaller sizes of idols for home worship, rather than overdo the attempt for grand celebration. Sometimes, the gigantic sizes of community Ganesha idols scares me.

Having a small idol is easy on immersion too. You need not head out to the lakes in your vicinity. A bucket of water does it. And all you need to do is pour the water out into planters or the garden.

Here is how Janaki's family did it.
immerse Ganesha idol in water bucket
Thanks a tonne Janaki, for sharing the pictures.

As I look at these amazing pieces of creativity for a religious purpose, I am reminded of earlier efforts by other friends too.

Theatre personality Kirtana Kumar posted the Ganesha Chaturthi celebration by her family a few years back. Here is the link to her post in her blog.

Infinite Souls Farm and Artists' Retreat

Scroll down the post for pictures of their open air celebration of the festival. Gowri and Ganesha idols made by children are a treat. And so is the ambience of the no-fuss celebration.

Another friend Aishwarya Kumaresh from my school had made a lovely clay  idol last year, which I could not post about. But the sheer memory of beauty in her effort prompted me to post some pictures here this time.

homemade clay Ganesha

handmade clay ganeshji
The idol is not as big as it looks in these pictures...
worship of lord ganesha
Ganpati pooja with umbrella

...and that is why, I love it all the more.

As for me, I stuck to a super simple worship, given that an elder in my family is still recovering from an accident, and am in the middle of doctor appointments. Like during other festivals when a tiny turmeric cone on a betel leaf becomes the lord's symbol for worship, I mixed some water with turmeric and made this. A toothpick came in handy for the image.
turmeric ganesha or pasupu vighneshwarudu or manjal vinayagar

Turmeric is God
Flowers used here may look minimal. The truth is, my husband brought home a planter full of flowers instead of plucked ones. That's because these potted flower plants cost just as much as plucked flowers do. I had not the heart to pluck all those from the lovely plant.  Instead, I plucked some, and placed it at the altar and offered it, as it stood. It's not seen in the picture here.

My thanks to all friends who let me use the pictures.

For the rest of us, we may or may not have managed an eco-friendly effort at home this time. This post is so that we make sure God's gift called nature is not messed with at least at a personal level, during worship. Do try the DIY option next year. You could get more ideas from my post last year: Ganesha on my plate.

Pictures courtesy: Sankgetha Sripathy of Smudgy Trove, Pavani Prasad, Deepa Balakrishnan, Janaki Murali, Aishwarya Kumaresh, Kirtana Kumar and Radhika MB

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