PUNE: They see the elephant God in everything, which explains why the Sanyunkta Prasad Mandal displays Ganapati idols made of the most unusual ingredients: from automobile parts to musical instruments to even sports equipment. And, it is this unusual display that attracts thousands to the mandal every Ganeshotsav.
Ajit Paranjape, president of the mandal, said, “It has been 12 years since we began using different types of materials. The idea is to see God in everything. This concept is potent enough to create respect and love for everything, and that is what we aim to achieve.”
At one point, the mandal volunteers made a Ganapati idol from empty tin paint cans, while at another; they used different types of lamps for the purpose. Also, during one Ganeshotsav, an idol made from cups, trophies and shields shone in the pandal; not to forget the time when an array of musical instruments – flute, violin, sitar and tabla – was used for a similar end.
“We set out to search for the equipment 3-4 months prior to the festival. We visit various outlets, present our theme and concept to the proprietors, who in turn are happy to lend us their equipment. At the close of the festivities, we dismantle the idol and return the material to its rightful owner,” added Paranjape.
This year, the mandal brought together 23 sports equipment – badminton rackets, softballs, cricket pads, table tennis rackets, cricket and boxing gloves, skating shoes, Carrom disks and the like. “Three amateur artistes made the idol within 10-15 days. We chose the sports theme this year because India performed exceptionally well in 2011, the cricket World Cup and Common Wealth Games being a witness to this,” he said.
“The idea is to portray Ganesha blessing sportsmen, by being adorned in sports equipment,” he added.
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