The grandiosity of the Ganesh festival in the city of Mumbai has always attracted devotees from different parts of the country. One such ardent devotee is Arun Jetil from Kota, Rajasthan, who hasn’t missed a single visarjan ceremony in Mumbai in the past 10 years. Every Ganeshotsav, Jetil and his family religiously travel miles from Rajasthan to Mumbai to perform the immersion ceremony of their Ganesha idol at Girgaum Chowpatty.
An instructor at an IIT training institute in Kota, Jetil lives with his wife, two kids and parents. Despite his busy schedule, he is highly motivated to come to Mumbai for the festival. Describing the festive feeling, he said, “Ganesh festival is celebrated in various cities but the spirit of Mumbai is unattainable. The grandiosity with which the festival is celebrated in here is something that one can’t find anywhere else. There was an inner calling that always dragged me here.”
This time when Jetil and his family left for Mumbai, his students who were keen on experiencing the celebrations in the metro city accompanied them.
Asif Khan, one of the students, said, “Every year sir makes it a point to come here. He used to click a lot of pictures and stories that amazed me. I wanted to see it for myself. I just happened to ask sir if I could come along with him and the next thing I knew, I had train tickets in my hand.” Jetil believes that it is the blessings of lord Ganesha that he manages to come every year to the city. He believes everything lies in the hands of Lord Ganesha and that he is merely a medium through which his family members are able to visit the famous Lalbaugcha Raja every year.
Reminiscing an incident, Jetil’s wife, Chitra, said, “Once it so happened that there were no rooms available at Mumbai Central station and we were left with no place to stay. We went to a nearby hotel and booked three rooms which cost us Rs 12,000 per day. We had no other option but to pay. Within moments of paying there we got a call from the railway authorities informing us that one room was available and that they will make arrangements for the other two as well.” Such instances made the Jetil family believe in the divine providence of lord Ganesha.
Jetil has been collecting funds for over a year to buy prasad from Lalbaugcha Raja to distribute it to the people at his hometown. He will not only take prasad but also idols of lord Ganesha for the people as a souvenir. Capturing his divine memories, Jetil has an impressive collection of over 500 pictures of his visit to the city.
He aspires to make this religious journey a tradition and plans to get more people involved such that he wants to book an entire train compartment. Chitra exclaimed, “We will be returning with a bag full of memories and waiting for the the next year to come soon.”