Even after a flawless tradition of more than seven decades, the documentation of history of Lalbaugcha Raja, Mumbai’s most famous and revered deity, has not been done with the required magnitude.
When noted calligrapher Achyut Palav realised this, he planned a book. This book, as many believe, would help reinforce the grandeur of the elephant God and put the Raja’s place in history in a proper manner.
The photobiography, Lalbaugcha Raja, with the calligraphic narration, not only takes the reader through the 76-year-old history of Lalbaughcha Raja, but also connects him to emotions of the devotees.
The book, which will be released at 4am on Saturday — the first day of the festival — coinciding the Pratisthapana (installation) of the idol, also takes the reader through a picturesque journey of the changing moods of Ganeshotsav in Maharashtra.
The idol of Lalbaugcha Raja has donned various forms representing the times since its inception in 1934. In 1946, the Raja was dressed as Netaji Subhashchandra Bose while he was made to look like Gandhiji in 1948. But after that the surrounding exhibits started getting importance and the idol rose in height.
Apart from photographs of the idols for 76 years, the book also has attempted to capture various moods and colours of the festivities. The book takes the reader through the idol-making process. After taking him through the various colours and joyous moments of ten days, the mood pictures of the emersion procession on eleventh day would surely make him sentimental.
Talking about the concept behind the book, which was completed in 4 months, Palav said, “Since I am from Lalbaug, I have witnessed the faith and reverence the devotees have in the Raja. When I realised that proper documentation of this huge celebration and unique history is needed to be done, I decided to come out with a quality product to match with the status of Lalbaugcha Raja.”