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Not all hands can sculpt gods in their everyday lives, but there are a few precious hands that do. As soon as the festive season strikes Mumbai, the bylanes of the city start preparing up for the upcoming joy and zeal. Today let’s meet people from our daily walks of life who are the god makers and yet so grounded and humble.
Someone who strives to find beauty in all the mess would find the small street corners enclosed with blue tarpaulin amusingly amazing. These cranny booths are filled with small ‘murtis’ (idols) of god- Ganesha. This small humble world of god makers who carve those beautiful louts eyes, and the enchanting curvaceous trunk is an experience…
Meet Pradeep Maduskar. He is the second generation to continue the family tradition of sculpting Ganesha idols. Maduskar graduated in G.D. Art (Sculpture) from the J. J. School of Arts, specializing of his Vaibhav Sampana Ganpati. “We make only eco-friendly idols, all made from mud”.
He has been making Ganesha idols for more than seven decades now. “In the last seventy-three years we have made more than 3500 Ganesha idols. We have been making idols for Nasik, Pune, Mumbai, Gujarat, Cambodia, U.K, and Florida and other states in the US of A.We make only eco-friendly idols.”
A slight twist on the traditional ‘murtikars’, here is Amit Rajwadkar of The Art Studio. He is a professional tattoo artist and all his tattoos are art pieces in their own way. But the Ganesha tattoos- let us not word them for you…
“I grew up looking in the eyes of this Ganesha idol…Heard a lot of stories about this specific Idol since I was a kid…some said someone would donate their eyes every year, a few said the eyes were made of glass, but as I grew older, I realized that these eyes were the creation of an artist…With this tattoo I got the opportunity to paint them again, just that the medium was different… Here’s the progress shot of the tattoo that’s very close to my heart… I will always be thankful to Aniruddha Anavkar for letting me do this…”
God is in the art, the detail, and here is someone proving it to us. For the last 50 years, artist Mohankumar Dodecha has been making rangolis dedicated to Mumbai’s favourite deity, Ganpati. The designs – made using only sago (sabudana)- have not just brought him good luck, but also provided him with a belief system and made him one with the power of spirituality.
“Just like my place in society — as a father, brother, son cannot be changed, each grain of sago justifies the entire design. Even if one grain is disturbed, or not placed properly, it disturbs me,” says Kumar, who spends 18 hours a day, for an entire month, to complete the rangoli. Dodecha has recently been included in the Guinness Book of World Records for using sago as a medium to create rangoli for the longest time.