Actor Raqesh Bapat has been carving his own Ganpati idol since he was in school. Interestingly, the actor doesn’t believe in idol worship but finds the whole process of sculpting a Ganesh idol meditative.
“I’m spiritual but not religious. I don’t believe in idol worship, so it’s ironical that I make an idol and worship it. Actually, the art of making Ganesha idol is therapeutic, it takes me to a different realm altogether. I like the positive aura around the festival. It’s also a reason for everybody to take some time off their busy schedule to come together,” says the actor.
Bapat’s social media posts showcasing him sculpting his idol garnered much praise by netizens. Asserting that it took him two days to carve it this year, he says, “It all depends on the size and structure. If the idol is huge the mud takes time to settle and dry. This year I’ve done webinars teaching idol making to students, which is why I made a smaller one. It was overwhelming to see how much they enjoyed the process especially in such stressful times,” shares the actor, who installs the idol at his home for one and a half days and would immerse the eco-friendly idol in a bucket. After its dissolved, the soil is used in his garden.
With his family in Pune this year, Bapat, 41, celebrated the day with a very few close relatives. His father, Major Padmakar Bapat, passed away earlier this year, so this is their first Ganpati without him. Bapat along with his mother, Kavita Bapat, sister Sheetal and niece Isha, worshipped the Lord, while his other niece, Prachi Bapat, who’s a doctor couldn’t participate due to her Covid-19 duties.
“Times are different now. We couldn’t have a huge gathering… I’ve immerse my eco-friendly made of clay and vegetable colours in a bucket and when it dissolves I give it back to the soil in our garden,” he shares.
Bapat is often asked why he doesn’t preserve his beautiful idols, to which he says, “I believe in attach and detach process. Nothing is permanent in life. If I immerse this year, then only next year I again gather that positive energy to create a new one.”
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ