GaNpati Bappa Morya…

Naivedya : Malai Modak

My favorite Deity is celebrating his birthday today.

I am missing Bombay, I am missing Wadala Math and Krida Mandir and more than that I am missing my family. Even with loud music blaring from speakers and all the vargani politics in Bombay, this festival rocks!

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi, Happy Chavathi, Everyone!

On the day before Chavathi, we have Gauri/VaiNa pooja.

Vaina Pooja 2007

A humble coconut goes from a hard nut to a beautiful woman’s face. All of the dried husk from its shell are removed. In fact, I actually take a knife and scrape on the hard shell to make it as smooth as possible. Each family takes pride in how smooth they can make the coconuts surface. The three “eyes” of the coconut become its face. The top two are applied “KaJaL” to signify its eyes while the bottom one is applied “Shindor” to imply the mouth/lips. The “Shindoor” is orange powder and different from the ” KumKum” which is red. ‘Gaandh’, sandalwood paste is applied in between the “eyes” to signify the ‘bindi’ ( and the ‘Savashini’-married not widowed status). Kumkum is applied on top of the “Gaandh’ and a flower on top of the coconut making the transformation to a ‘Savashin’ complete. At the end of the pooja and just before the aarti, a little ‘diva’ is replaces the flower turning the ‘Savashini’ into gauri/vaiNa. After the pooja, each of the VaiNa is distributed to all the ‘savashin’ females of the house.

Till tomorrow people…


13 thoughts on “GaNpati Bappa Morya…

  1. Happy Ganesh chaturthi. The Vaina looks beautiful and you have explained it so well. We even apply turmeric on the sides to the coconut followed by a chalk mark all along the centre of the coconut.

    Yes. We dip the coconuts into a mixture of haldi and water. However, the haldi quentity is not so much that it dyes the coconut. And we make the chalk mark, too. I was concentrating on the part of the puja where the coconut is ‘shringar’ed like a woman for this post. Posts like this are great. It brings all the closet amchis out. Now I know you are one, too. 😀

  2. Vaina expln bhaari chand kornu baraila…i m missing amma’s Vaina pooja at this point!! u hv written about it with such details!
    Tks !!

    Thanks, Purnima. I am very attached to this pooja. It was big deal at my parents place and I used to help with ‘narlu shringarche’ part. I was so glad when I realised my husband’s family had ‘vayana’ too. It is one puja that I do religiously every year.

  3. i loved your malai modak recipe. bookmarked to try.

    Have fun with malai modak, lakshmi. Question, are you the same lakshmi from the the ‘yum’ blog? I just read through the recent posts on QTOL and am liking those very much. Just added QTOL to my feeds.

  4. nice explanation about vaina puja!
    You are from mumbai too? Heh! We used to hang out at wadala math too! small world.
    We have vaina puja at home in Colaba, Mumbai. A beautiful gathering. Since we lived in a joint family, we had perhaps 50 vaina coconuts with no place to keep them. It was fun! (Still is, when we do go).

    Blessing of Gauri and Ganapati bappa on you and your family, ever.

    Oh yes, small world indeed. We lived in a pseudo joint family, a whole lot of close and extended family in one suburb. It was a big event growing up, so was chavathi. Which is why I love this festival and am missing it so. 😦

  5. vee dear u did bring back lovely memories of the festival back in mumbai for me too… nostalgic to read abt wadala math…right arun…its indeed a small world ! miss the huge wadala ganapati .. the entire festive atmosphere of the place…i used to help in making garlands with my mom as a kid…the yummy prasad lunches…the ‘ganahom’ which my parents wud perform…we even used to visit the place after dinner for ‘pushpa pooja’ ,programmes/ social gathering…miss the yummiest post dinner snack of kela bhajiya / biscut ambade….well i can go on n on with this stuff…..feel sad that my kids have never seen any of this as we never holiday back home during this time…..thanks vee ur posts bring me closer to home….


    Did you know the wadala Ganpati was insured for 7 crores this year? Unbelievable and it had beaten out the krida mandir one to the richest ganpati in B’bay.

    Oh, I miss those snacks. We used to gorge on those like anything. AH, I wanna go home :((

  6. wow thanks for the info…think u r replying to yr mails right now….just curious to know yr real name n which suburb of mumbai r u from??? i’m fm mahim….just love yr blog dear n pl keep writing more…u surely r gifted….

  7. I am doing the Vaina puja today since my family had a ‘Vhalen’ (no-puja-period) during Chaturti. I grew up watching my mom and aunts perform this puja every year, and now my husband’s side of the family is also into it. Can’t say I enjoy it as much as Ganapati-puja but it’s something to bind me to other amchi’s 🙂 And I want my daughter to feel that her mom also does a puja!! I prefer doing it by myself though…having the in-laws around makes me nervous.

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