Our pen pal, Ganesha

Sep 14, 2011, 08:00 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Over 1,000 anonymous letters were collected from the donation boxes placed at Lalbaugcha Raja's feet, each articulating a devotee's most cherished wish

Over 1,000 anonymous letters were collected from the donation boxes placed at Lalbaugcha Raja's feet, each articulating a devotee's most cherished wish

Who said letters are an obsolescent, near-extinct means of communication? Going by the recent trend, devotees have chosen the old-fashioned epistles convey their word to God, perhaps assuming poor network coverage and low internet connectivity up in the lofty heights of Heaven. The popular pandal that hosts Lalbaugcha Raja unwittingly became the head office for a one-of-a-kind postal service this year -- one that is entrusted with responsibility of conveying letters to their favourite deity.

Rolling in it: Donation boxes were opened for counting yesterday,
revealing the most grandiose offerings for the lord. Pics / Datta Kumbhar

Members of the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal started noticing the phenomenon this year, when devotees started leaving behind letters addressed to Ganpati in the donation boxes placed at the idol's feet. These candid letters, written by devotees from all age groups and all walks of life, expressed a myriad variety of emotions -- ranging from ecstasy to gratitude, frustration to sorrow. About a 1,000 letters were received this year.

A mandal member said, "We have been reading all the letters, and are surprised to learn of the faith that devotees repose in Ganpati. Most of the letters were anonymous, so we cannot help grant the wishes that have been articulated in the letters. We only hope that their prayers have reached the addressee."

Candid confessions

Dear God,
Please change my husband's nature, and give him some feelings, so he can respect others and start loving me. He is the most heartless man I have ever met. If you cannot change him, then at least grant me another person who would love me and keep me happy. I am not happy with my husband.

Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya!
You know how many problems my family has weathered recently. I want you to take away all our problems. You also know know how much I love some one a certain man. Please ensure that I get married only to him.

Dear Ganeshji,
You gave me a child after a long wait of 10 years, but took him away immediately. If you bless me with a child, I will come with my entire family next year for darshan.

Dear Lalbaugcha Raja,
I want to complain against the members of your mandal, as they are earning pots of money using your name. Let me tell you something lord - last year, my cousin had a brain stroke, and was taken to a private hospital,w here she was not treated well  as she was not very wealthy. We approached the mandal for monetary aid, but she refused to help. I hope you are reading this, and will punish the cruel and greedy people.

The collection
Till Tuesday, the mandal received Rs 7.52 crore, with the collection on the tenth day amounting to Rs 95 lakh. Diamonds worth Rs 5 lakh were found in the donation boxes, and over 100 kgs of silver was found in them.

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