Last week on the occasion of Ganesh Chathurthi, I was visiting my grandparents at my uncle’s place. My grandma had specially called me as she was planning to prepare some old delicacies especially for me. I have missed so many dishes that my mom used to make before I got married. Now I really don’t have the time and energy to make those.I finished my decoration, celebrations and prayers quickly.
Frankly Ganesh Chathurthi is such a grand celebration in Pune. I would start to decorate the Pooja room the previous night, with glittering party streamers, lightings, rangoli’s at each entrance…etc. I miss the loud celebration of Ganpati festival from Pune. Bringing the Ganesha idol in grand style from the store to your home, with the face covered, chanting Ganesha prayers. I am not a very religious person, but the only prayer I know is the Ganesh Aarti. I love it, the Sanskrit words and the tune of it! Miss all this now in Bangalore.
|Rangoli outside my house for Ganesha :)|
I reached my uncle’s place and they were close to finishing the entire menu for the day. My grandparents were making Kadabu, it’s a spicy item. Kinda like rice dumpling with spicy filling inside. For my husband it was new item. He has always eaten only the sweet version of it we call Modak J.
After a delicious meal of varied items, we sat down just talking. Suddenly for some reason, I asked my grandma how old was she….82 she said…and grandpa was 84. So we eagerly asked “You were there when the Britishers ruled us. How was it then? Did they really harass you like we read in history books and see in the movies? ”Grandma said, “It was good then! They were very systematic, they had their rules. If you break the rules they would punish, else it was just a normal life style; it really wasn’t that bothersome. OR may only in big cities where there was struggle on, may be those people faced harassment. But we pretty much had a good time. And definitely better than the times today! These politicians who are running the country now are looting us. At least it wasn’t this bad during the British time. The Britishers are better any day compared to what is happening now in our country”.
Through my childhood, my dad used to always say that the Britishers shouldn’t have left our country; for we would have been a much better developed country. It was a mistake to fight for freedom and then take our country to dooms. The leaders who fought for freedom never came up with a proper plan of how to run the country. We know, all the technology that came into India was because of the Britishers. Railways, post office, schools and hospitals, eradication of so many blind belief and bad social practices. They brought these facilities for their easy of life in India… and it stayed after they left. So imagine if they stayed a bit longer we’d be a much developed forward country. True eh!
Now when we look at our country we are in such a bad shape. There is no equality in society; we have extremes of everything – rich poor, educated-illiterate etc. We studied how the freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for this country. Name one politician now who wants to do that? The congress govt. is a deaf govt. who is not listening to any needs of the common man. My civics book taught the govt. is “of the people by the people for the people”. So if the people don’t want this govt. anymore, shouldn’t there be simple way to remove them? How can the ruling govt. overpower the people? So where is the democracy in this democratic country?