If you are someone living in Pune,and you happen to pass by Sarasbaug road,even if you are driving,you look towards the Ganapati temple and bow your head down in purest faith.Sarasbaug is on my daily route and it has become a reflex for me..as my eyes see the circle(the traffic island), my head involuntarily turns left and on my perfect eye level is my favourite Ganapati Bappa!The temple sits atop a tiny hillock and its amazing planned so that anyone on the road can see the idol inside the temple…and have a perfect darshan.But yes,as i was saying,as my head turns involuntarily,i see most of the people turning their head too!It has sort has become an identification mark…if you pass by,and don’t turn to take darshan,you aint a Punekar!!Many people,even though in great hurry,and in great traffic,stop roadside to offer prayings.And each time i pass,no matter what time of the day,the temple always has a flock of devotees.
Pune has changed leaps and bounds…from being Pensioner’s Paradise to Queen of Deccan to Oxford of the East and the latest being the IT hub,..but one grain in this sand of time remains unchanged,unscarred…as i love it Sarasbaug cha Ganapati!It has etched a special place in the heart of every Punekar.Even in todays competitive,rapid,technological world,a Punekar’s faith in his Bappa remains intact…its heartening to see this in my generation too!Anyone with doubt can pass by the temple in Diwali!
I,being born on Ganesha Chaturthi(Ganesha’s birthday),have an extra strong faith in Him!PLus,i have had many memories in SArasbaug!So Sarasbaug Ganapati is a part of my heart…well any Punekar would second that!
More on the entire garden and my memories of Sarabaug in upcoming blogs..Keep tracking this Punekar till then!