Memories Of The Ganapati Festival
   Date :24-Aug-2017

It was the Ganapati festival again and just like every year Rohan's Aaji (grandmother in Marathi) was super charged with energy that too at such old age !

Rohan along with his parents use to come to their hometown every year during the Ganeshotsav, the ten days festival of Lord Ganesha.
A small clay idol of Lord Ganesha is installed at home for worship during the festival. The idol is worshiped in the morning and evening with offerings of flowers, durva, karanji, modaks and singing of aarti "Sukhakarta Dukhaharta".
Ganeshotsav was among Rohan's faverate festivals and his Aaji was the main reason behind that. Either ways he used to communicate with Aaji through video calling but being with her was a special treat for him.
Aaji used to pamper him a lot, use to make so many sweets and other eatables for him... And yes, the bedtime stories were the cherry on the cake.

His Aaji was always ready with a smile on her face for every situation.
She cooks the best food and she has all the remedies and solution to every problem.
Aaji always inspired Rohan with positivity, she was more of a friend to play with and a guide whenever he needed help.

Rohan was of 14years now and he had seen his Aaji always like this.
Specially during the Ganpati Festival, he always noticed her being more energetic.
She starts the preparations almost a week before the festival.
Making the sweets, arranging the decoration, getting the entire house cleaned and so on!

This year, Rohan had made-up his mind to know this secret and so he did.
After the dinner, when everyone was sitting together, he asked Aaji about her special energy during the Ganeshotsav.
She smiled looking at Rohan's Grandfather and said, "I will tell you a story today".
Everybody sat around Aaji, and she started..

Many years ago, when I was young, India was slave to the British Rulers. Education was not something meant for girls. Ganu dada, my elder brother insisted our parents for my education because during those days, girls rarely even got to study upto their 10th. There were very few who were lucky enough to get it. Somehow, I started studying but then there were people who use to taunt me for this. Passing on comments to me was almost a daily routine. It bothered me a lot but still I did not gave up and continued my study.
My elder brother was also studying and side by side helped our father in his printing press.

On the first day of then Ganeshotsav, there was a knock on our door.
My father opened the door as my brother was out of station for some work.
To our surprise, there was a wounded stranger asking for our help. Baba, my father, asked him to come in silently. 
Baba did first-aid and offered him food to eat.
I was looking at him through the curtain hide.
He got some energy and told baba that he is a freedom fighter and Ganu dada's best friend.
Baba was surprised but happy to know that Ganu dada is quietly helping the freedom fighters.
Baba asked him to stay with us till he gets completely well.
Next day Ganu dada was also back to home.
One evening, my brother planned for us all to go out and visit the festival fair.
On the way, dada told his freedom fighter friend about me being strong and struggling for education.
We reached the festival fair ground. There was a huge and very beautiful idol of Ganpati.
In front of Ganapati, this freedom fighter holded my hand in front of my brother and proposed me for marriage.
"Vinayak..are you serious??" Ganu dada asked with a feeling for wonder and astonishment.

"Vinayak! that means that freedom fighter was grandpa! And he proposed you at Ganeshotsav!" Rohan shouted with joy.
"Yes, He was none other than your grandfather..!!" said Rohan's grandmother.
"And since then, Ganapati Festival is most special for your grandmother." Grandpa said smilingly.