I had been meaning to go to Pottery Town for quite sometime now. But something or the other always came up at the last minute. The last attempt, a week back, had to be cancelled as rain played spoilsport. So this Sunday, I was glad to be finally in Pottery Town despite a not-so-good weather forecast. Pottery Town is a street full of pottery vendors in East Bangalore behind Frazer Town, quite close to the Cantonment Railway Station. It was formed years back when the Government decided to give a piece of land on lease to a group of 60 potter families. The profession has been carried on for more than three generations with currently more than 20 families still in business.
The place provides a great opportunity to see the world of potters and their workmanship. The entire life cycle of pottery can be experienced, right from wheels making pottery to drying them in symmetric way and finally burning them in kilns to make the final product. The pots are then painted using spray paints and kept in shops for sale. Mahendra and I reached the place early, around eight in the morning, hoping to get some pictures of potters turning their wheels and moulding clay into beautiful pots. But we were in for a pleasant surprise.
The whole place was transformed in anticipation of Ganesh Chaturthi which was the next day. Beautiful idols of Lord Ganesha in myriad shapes, sizes and colors, each depicting the Lord in different poses adorned the streets. Several makeshift tents had scores of completed and work in progress statues with artisans putting finishing touches.
Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi or simply Ganeshotsav, is one of the most joyous of Indian festivals. The day marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the benign elephant-headed god, considered the destroyer of all evils and harbinger of good luck. Lord Ganesha is the lord of all the good qualities in us. He is also the lord of knowledge and wisdom. It is believed that when we worship Lord Ganesha, all good qualities will blossom in us.
People across the country, and even abroad, celebrate Ganeshotsav with great zeal and passion. But the celebrations are opulent, colourful and elaborate in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and the entire coastal belt of Konkan where thousands of small villages annually come alive with the music and lights of Ganeshotsav. In this region, the festivities were started by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement, cocking a snook at the then British government. During the British Rule of India, common public was prohibited from gathering in large numbers. Lokmanya Tilak founded the publicly celebrated Ganeshotsav Festival as a means of promoting the dream of Indian Independence, uniting people from diverse groups, and enhancing their sense of social belonging.
Wishing everyone a happy Ganesh Chaturthi! Ganapati Bappa Morya! Mangal Murti Morya!