Posts Tagged ‘Remittance’

Ganesh Chaturthi

September 20, 2012

Ganesh Chaturthi is a time for celebration, especially in Mumbai where I was born and spent all my childhood. I remember our colony coming alive when it was time for the divine guest to come to our humble homes. The entire muhalla would be brimming with excitement. A mix of devotion, faith, and hope would take over. The best part was the fact that everyone enjoyed this festival – children and elders alike. Ganpati bappa moriya was the phrase one heard through those magical 10 days. All that yummy food, the song & dance, and the final farewell to the deity through visarjan in the ocean; it was too much excitement, and a time for love, laughter, fun, family, and friends!

So why am I talking about all this? Well because it is that time of the year once again. And for the past 15 years that I have been living and working abroad, I thoroughly miss the festival. All my friends, family, cousins, and that overwhelming feeling that took over us during this period is missing here. Not that I don’t celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in London, in fact we have a very strong and close knit Indian community. Each year we still bring the Lord home with a lot of excitement and happiness. But it’s not the same. It cannot compare with the smell of my home, the spirit of the city of Mumbai during Ganpati.

Nevertheless, my fortunate financial circumstances here at least give me the immense satisfaction of contributing to the organization of Ganpati celebrations back home in my colony. My parents are still there, as are all our family friends. And each year, I remit money to them and ensure that Ganpati is both beautiful and grand. All the way here in London I know that Ganesh Chaturthi, even if I’m not physically present, is being celebrated with full enthusiasm and spirit back home in India.

Ganpati Bappa Moriya!



Raksha Bandhan

August 1, 2012

Home is where the heart is. This proverb might be cliché but it is very true, especially around festival time. Particularly on Diwali, Holi, & New Years, not just me, but I can safely say that millions of NRIs like me, feel a very strong longing to be back home in India. To be among our nearest & dearest; all our family, friends, and in the cities & towns we grew up in and still miss a lot.

This time round, its Rakhi. My wife and I, both living far away from India, miss our respective families. While my sister is back in Delhi, my wife’s brothers are in Kolkata. And sitting all the way here in London, the possibility of going to India to both cities is out of the question. But that doesn’t mean we are not in the spirit of the festival. In fact, being away only increases the feeling of love, care & protectiveness.

Growing up, rakhi would always be a fun occasion. The sweets, the pampering, and the care I got from my elder sister was beyond her years. She was always like a mother to me. Someone who guided me through so many situations ranging from fights to flings, wins & losses at school & college. And for that, I have remained so thankful to her and to God for giving me such a wonderful companion & friend in my sister.

This time, since I cannot be with Bindya on Rakhi, I have ensured that I at least make a gesture that she will never forget. It has been a long cherished dream of hers to go to Tirupati. So I have remitted some money to a friend who has organized a very good trip & darshan for Bindya and her family and is going to surprise her with it very shortly!

On rakhi this time, my darling sister will be at a place she has been wanting to go to for a long time. And that makes me feel very good about being able to make my sister happy.

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