Priya Harlalka, Andheri
Priya Harlalka is all to set to welcome the elephant god for the very first time at her residence. Going by the immense popularity of green Ganeshas, Harlalka has decided to get an eco-friendly Ganpati. Quiz her about her motto for getting an eco-friendly idol and Harlalka says, “Since it is made of mud, it will easily dissolve in water unlike PoP idols, which don’t dissolve easily and come back to the shore and pollute the water. It is the least I can contribute towards nature.
Eco-friendly Ganpatis have been gaining huge popularity as citizens have become aware of the side-effects of PoP idols, even though these eco-friendly idols are more expensive than their contemporaries.”
Beena Bhatia, Santacruz
Ganpati has been a big and auspicious occasion in Beena Bhatia’s residence since a very long time. Every year for 10 days of the Ganesh utsav, her home becomes an abode for family, friends and believers of the deity.
However, she wasn’t too happy with the lack of eco-friendly options in the market. Most of the idols were made out of materials, which harm the environment in more than one way.
The PoP idols polluted the sea and also harm the marine life. To make the festival more pleasant and avoid polluting the environment, Bhatia came up with the idea of recycling her Ganesh idol. “Every year for Ganesh Chaturthi, we have one standard idol. We bring it out, set up a decorative pandal, offer our prayers to the elephant god and perform all the rites.
However, at the time of visarjan, we just immerse our statue at home itself. This not only helps us cut down the negative contribution to the environment but also saves us the trouble of jostling our way through the crowd to immerse the idol at Juhu beach,” she says.
Vinod Dubey of Mitty, Versova
The rush for last-minute eco-friendly Ganesha idols is on and here is where Vinod Dubey and his store Mitty (022 2632 6102), located in Versova, come into play. Dubey, owner of Mitty, started making clay Ganpatis about six years ago and has been continuing this passion ever since.
Currently his store’s eco-friendly Ganpati idols, made up of pure terracotta clay, are a huge hit. “We started making the idols on wheels and it was a great experience. The idea is to make each and every part of Ganpati and then assemble them together.
Once you learn the knack to do it, it turns out really well,” says Dubey, who confesses that he is passionate about teaching people to make idols. Dubey has been teaching for the past 16 years now and his store specialises in exclusive handmade pottery.
When it is not Ganpati season, designing crockery for hotels keeps Dubey busy.
This year he has received 11 clay Ganpati orders already and expecting a couple more last-minute orders. “It takes two-three days to complete the idol,” he says. The smaller idols cost Rs2,500 and the cost goes upto Rs5,000 for the bigger ones.
Mukta Kunte, Goregaon
Mukta Kunte was working for a TV reality show, when she first walked into Vinod Dubey’s pottery store, Mitty.
“I saw him teaching pottery and decided to learn the art from him. Vinod sir was my first teacher and he introduced me to pottery,” says Kunte. That’s when she started learning to make eco-friendly Ganpatis out of clay.
“I started learning to make the various body parts and then the art of assembling them carefully. It is a difficult process. You have to talk to the clay or else it starts controlling you,” she says.
She later took a break from her job for a year and pursued a pottery course. It’s been five years now since she has been making her own Ganpati. Her husband Sandeep Shrivastava has been tremendously supportive and has also helped her in assembling the Ganpati parts she made.
“I make my Ganesh idol at Vinod sir’s store and I will be making it just a few days before September 9. That is because the idol has to be kept wet. If it dries, the parts will fall off. It has to be sprayed with water everyday, so that it doesn’t dry off,” she says.
“The process has had a therapeutic effect on me and has calmed me down over the years,” she adds.