In my usual routine I tend to stop and take notice of things which could be as weird as observing patterns on a bird’s feathers to marveling at the Sea-link. Not mostly the wise thing to do, but it helps. With the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi preparations its difficult not to see a Ganesh idol being transported on a lorry, truck or taxi. A tiny shop near my place stirred my curiosity. So i stepped in to, well maybe find out how its all done.
A tiny shop with a single owner was manning it all there. Seeing that he’s running a tight ship here, I asked if i could just look at the idols. More than welcoming, he agreed to show me around. Totally thrilled, he told me he had made every single idol on his own starting from modelling the gypsum to painting them the final idol. I browse around and see different avatars of the lord in varied poses shining in the brightest of colors. A few unfinished pieces lay along with the ones for sale neatly wrapped stacked on shelves. I thanked him for being kind and asked him how did he manage to do this all by himself?
So, Ganesh (the owner) went on to elaborate how sculpting idols started out as a casual hobby when young. How he grew older doing it and the creative effort that goes in while ensuring that he puts in enough capital for supplies. Just a month before the Ganpati Season, a typical day entails travelling 30kms (one way) to his workplace, ensuring all work is wrapped up with a long commute back home in the crazy rains. Once back, he rests barely for a few hours only to return to the shop to be working all through the night. Questioning how long does it normally take, he replied “I don’t know, at times i just leave not thinking about when I would get free”. All he knows is that he needs to be home by 7 am to get ready and leave for the job again. A man, who is married with a 3 year old son and another daughter on the way manages so much that it left me inspired and got me thinking.
I believe it takes an extraordinary amount of effort to actually pursue your interests and dreams while keeping everyone in your life happy. While here’s this man, with ordinary dreams living in a small 1 Room Kitchen apartment taking care of his family, devoting his time to them as well as pursuing his hobby with full fervor. Wake up call, maybe?
In retrospect, it brings back the spirit of the city to me. Mumbai is the melting pot of varied cultures, climbing dreams, shattered hopes, bright actions and darkest fears. It all lives here. Side by side in inexplicable calm, so perfect that no one really notices. It tells me, that in the end it all falls in place. All we need to do is keep the faith and believe in the beauty of our dreams and pursue them steadfastly. That would eventually breathe life in to our ordinary existence.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and Persistence conquer all Things.”