travel

Blessed

See – I was so eager to take photos of the “Ganeshas” in my area – but alas! it was not to be. Without going into the boring reasons I struck upon a brilliant idea. Okay, brilliant in my mind – you decide whether you think so too! I thought, hey, I am a big fan of the elephant-headed God, so why not take pictures of some from my own collection? Bru-ha-ha-ha! So I did!Β Β 
Somehow, every time I go out, if I see a unique form of Ganesha, he comes home with me. So irresistible. I even have Ganesha earrings, a Ganesha locket…Ganesha pottery….Sigh. When Vidur was very little, I packed most of the decorative stuff off in cartons and put them out of reach. They’re still all packed up, I realized, mainly because I have to make arrangements to display them properly. So what I did was took pictures of the ones around my house – and decided to present them here. And yes, there’s a story about each. Grab your favorite beverage and enjoy! As always, click the photo for the original size.
Here we go!
I got this Ganesha a few years ago from the market. Days before the festival, the are hundreds of shops and roadside vendors selling these clay idols – nicely painted. Vidur would go crazy when we went shopping, and insisted on buying this. And so here He is, in His most traditional form.

This one is precious to me. After Sury and I decided to get married, I wanted to make something, and embroidered this Ganesha. And framed it. And hung it. As Sury fondly likes to say, we’ve successfully framed and hung Ganesha. (Go ahead, laugh!) This is prominently featured in our living room. Yeah!

Ah, this idol is about 18 inches tall (that’s 45 cm) and I got it in 1992. Yes, folks! My friend and I were cruising down the road towards an industrial area when we spotted this chap on the side of the road selling them. We got one each. I remember how much we laughed when we realized he colored the plaster of paris molds with printers’ ink! This idol has carefully traveled many cities with me – as I moved around. I love it dearly. When we arrived where we live now, the base chipped and I felt so sad. Then my Mom reminded me that Quickfix can fix everything (except broken hearts). So – I fixed it – and painted the base. Can you make out? Didn’t think so! And that little red container you see at the bottom left? It has red “kum-kum“-Β  (the stuff you see on the center of my forehead) – and which we offer women who visit when they leave. Okay, side-tracked. But that’s the story behind this Ganesha. Sometimes I hug Him – because his face looks like a child’s. (I played around with Picasa to make this photo look like this)

Next up, is my conch Ganesha. Hey, did you notice this one is made of five conches? Ah, I love this. Back in 1996, when I lived in another city, I used to shop at a friend’s store for clothes. She knew I was crazy about collecting Ganesha idols and got me this one for my birthday, back then. Mmmm. It is fairly large and looks soft and cute.
And now, my most coveted Ganesha – in his dancing form. This is about ten inches tall and weighs over five kilograms. Yes. Very special indeed. Made of “panchaloka” or five metals. This was gifted to me by my colleagues at work. Every one who visits my house admires it and my Uncle covets it like crazy. I love it. And I always love the expression on the face of the person who picks it up – they never expect it to be so heavy. And God help them if they ever drop it, eh.

I got this sculpted Ganesha a few years ago when I went shopping. That’s a piece of rock and the Ganesha is etched on it. That means I’ve shown you my etchings, right? Yes. πŸ™‚ Ha ha.

Awww, look at this orange Ganesha inside the coconut! That’s a real coconut shell, folks. This was gifted to me in 1996 – when I visited a family friend’s office during a trip to Delhi. As we chatted, I think he caught me looking at this, sitting on his side table. When I left, he picked it up and gave it to me. Well, what could I do? I said thank you very nicely.
Now let me introduce you to an art form that is special to Tanjore, our native place in South India. Besides a lot of fascinating things like heritage monuments, Tanjore painting, music, toys and lots of creative things, Tanjore is famous for this specific art. (Just Google “Tanjore Art” under images and enjoy the results) That silver etching is set in a wooden frame. This one’s a Ganesha.Β  Ah, I should take photos of some of the Tanjore art and make a post out of it, eh?

This is a painting on cloth by yours truly – it hangs in my home “office”Β  I also made the frame from cable camouflage – you know, the thingy they use to hide the cables and wires and make it look all neat and tidy. At the bottom – left and right are sets of birds we semi-made a few years ago, based on a television craft program. Yeah, I am creative like that.
I made the Ganesha below out of strips of cane – the soft sort. Then I mounted it on black cloth. Then knocked an old photo out of its frame, fixed a sheet of thermocol on it, covered it with orange handmade paper and placed my Ganesha in the center. To keep it dust free, I covered it with clear plastic.Β  I could have taken it down to photograph, but….erm….didn’t and hence the glare. The frame is two feet tall and one and a quarter feet wide. As soon as you enter my front door, you can see it on the wall right opposite, twenty feet away. I am thinking of painting that wall a nice red. And oh, bottom right, is Dora the Explorer, courtesy Vidur. Don’t ask why. He once made a painting of the north pole with a polar bear. There was a telephone kiosk in one corner. No idea why. But he’s thoughtful like that.Β Β 
And that’s it for today! πŸ™‚ I have several more photos – but I don’t want to overdose the post.

I love Unknown Mami for hosting this link up! Let’s get over to her place and see what the others are up to. You only need your keyboard!

Here is something I want to share with you:
It has been a nice week for me, all things considered. This morning a close friend of mine phoned and we had a pleasant marathon chat (virtual hug to her if she’s reading this).Β  And there’s something I want to ask you, dear friends, because I value your views and input. We were catching up – I always enjoy asking her about her two beautiful children. She was worried about her younger one,who is three-ish and still hasn’t begun to speak. He goes to a special school now where there are other children with learning disabilities. My friend is worried about the feedback she received from the school – saying that they want to downgrade his “goals”, which is really not fair, because he has progressed as far as comprehension goes – he now understands when they communicate, but won’t speak.Β  In the meantime, a trusted friend who has been running a school for decades, suggested that she move her three-year old there, as she has seen several kids with a similar problem improve and make progress in a normal setting. Her point is – the child will be encouraged to speak while interacting with others and also receive intervention with an experienced speech therapist.
Here’s the dilemma. Should my friend take the chance and move her child to this other school? Or continue with the existing school that wants to downgrade her child? She’s afraid he may regress.
What do you think? Please let me know in the comments, or email me at vidzword at gmail dot com – I would really appreciate suggestions, information, et cetera. Thanks!
Have a great week ahead! And remember that you are a wonderful person!
Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Do consider leaving a comment – or just reply to this email! I’d love to know what you think.

Cheers!

Vidya

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48 Comments

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    September 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    First off, I must say that you have a talent that I never knew about. That picture is amazing!!
    I love the coconut but must ask, how in the world does the inside of the coconut not rot?
    I’m so sorry about your friend. I can’t even imagine how heartbreaking that is. In my opinion, kids are so resilient. I’ve watched kids get transferred to our hospital (which I know is not the same as a school) for rehabilitation from another facility and while it is a bit of a transition, they swing right into it.
    If the child isn’t progressing or they’re not helping like they should, I think it is definitely worth switching…even if the child regresses…he may not regress either if they don’t try. It sounds like it would be very beneficial.
    Sending her strength in her choice and giant hugs.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks Kimberly! πŸ˜€ The inside of the coconut has been scraped out and colored white πŸ˜‰ Clever no? hehehe.

      About my friend, I’ve asked her to come by and read all the comments here – such excellent advice from everyone. I too feel that it might be best to give the little one the chance to improve, especially since the present school isn’t letting him progress. Yes, it is so tough on my friend. πŸ™ I feel for her. Hugs – I really appreciate your input!

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    September 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you, Vidya, for sharing the Ganeshas with us! Lovely! My favorite was the embroidered one. All of them are awesome, though, and I love the stories behind each one.
    I am saddened to hear about your friend’s dilemma. I have only known one family where the child did not speak until he was four years old. He developed normally in every other way, though. His parents got him a speech coach and he was raised in public schooling. He’s ten now and a little chatterbox. Every case is different, though. Wishing the best for your friend and her son.
    Hugs,
    Terri

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Dearest Terri! πŸ˜€ Thanks – I really enjoyed doing the embroidery on that one. My Mom was highly amused I was doing one for my house, rather than gifting it away!

      I know – isn’t it sad about my friend’s kid? He’s such a gorgeous little fellow. The thing that’s bothersome is – even though he’s making progress, the talk about the downgrade is so depressing. And the suggestion from the other friend seems to have come at the right time. I hope she makes the right decision! Hugs – appreciate your thoughts very much.

  • Reply
    Betsy/Zen Mama
    September 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Vidya,
    I love all your Ganesha pictures!! It’s hard to choose which I like best. The conch one is very unusual. But I think I like the one above it that you manipulated in picasa. You inspired me to read up on Ganesha and I loved what I found out! I loved that he is the remover of obstacles and the patron of arts, sciences, wisdom and intellect.

    As a preschool teacher, I would say that not talking by 4 is an indicator that something serious is going on. Most 4 year olds are talking very well. But I can’t say what. Without seeing the child it’s too hard to say. I’m sure she has seen proffesionals, but if not, tell her to have him tested.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Betsy – glad you liked the collection! I hope I can show you my entire stash one day! πŸ™‚

      Yes, I have suggested that my friend gets an independent evaluation before any new decision. Initially, his not speaking wasn’t a big issue, as his sister also did not speak until she was three or so. She’s a gifted child and doing brilliantly now – she’s 7 years old. I just pray that things work out well. Hugs!

  • Reply
    Vishnu
    September 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing the Ganesha photos Vidya! A little good luck for all of us during the week. Loved Ganesha Chathurthi as a kid, even in California, where we dropped off hundreds of clay Ganeshas in the water every year. Each Ganesha was unique and different like the ones you showcase above.

    And love the foods we make to celebrate Ganesha:) He has such a sweet tooth!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Thank you, Vishnu – yes, Ganesha is the real champ πŸ˜€ I find him very endearing – and oh yes, the eats are fantastic. I love how we have a special menu to celebrate each festival. Glad you came by!

  • Reply
    Harleena Singh
    September 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Beautiful pictures once again Vidya!

    The one in the coconut is unbelievable, and I don’t think you would have found such a type in the market if you looked for it now. πŸ™‚

    I just have one within a chain someone gifted and the one of dancing Ganesha in bronze, so these truly seemed fascinating indeed. Loved all of them, especially the one you made yourself – so much of hard work gone into them.

    Regarding the dilemma about your friend. I feel moving him to a new school with natural surroundings might be a better option because keeping him in the older one would make him feel bad internally. Yes, even small kids feel hurt and when they aren’t talking much and keeping to themselves, it can affect their mind and hearts a great deal.

    He would eventually learn to mingle and speak when he sees other doing the same. Also, encourage his older sibling and parents to communicate more with him when at home, even if he doesn’t reply – that helps too. Such kids, if everything is alright otherwise, take their own time to start talking.

    Hope this helps πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Ganesha is wonderfully inspiring πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much Harleena! In our own family and friends’ circles, we’ve seen children suddenly start talking,sometimes at the age of 7. Going by the wonderful comments here, I too hope my friend considers giving her child a chance. Hugs!

  • Reply
    Tara R.
    September 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    This is a wonderful collection, and I love that each piece is unique and has a story.

    As for your friend… it might be worth trying the new school. If the one he attends now, wants to downgrade his goals, will he get the attention he needs to improve? Having other kids around to encourage his speech, plus the needed therapy, could be a good thing. Just my thoughts.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks Tara!

      I too feel it might be worthwhile trying the new school, which is what I said over the phone. In fact, we do believe that a supportive environment will provoke speech, as we’ve seen that happen with quite a few children. Thanks for your thoughts! I’ve asked my friend to come by and read the comments here. Hugs!

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    September 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    –Love your embroidery & drawings.
    you are a woman of MANY beautiful talents (including writing.
    But your GREATEST, Powerful gift is how you make others feel about themselves!
    Love you more than dark chocolate & pecans! Xxxx

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Oh Kim – I love you more than all my Ganeshas put together – and there’s lots more, you know.

      Hugs! Have you any idea how much you inspire me?

  • Reply
    retired not tired
    September 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful collection. I got an education. For your friend definitely a change is in order. I have an autistic grandson who had trouble verbalizing and is definitely improving in his new school. Also if this child is the youngest they tend to talk later. he may not even have a learning diability.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind words! πŸ™‚ I loved your Sunday post very much!

      I hear what you’re saying about younger children tending to talk later – we’ve experienced that in our family. Somehow, instinct tells me the same about this little boy. It is as though he’s waiting for the right moment to talk. πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing your view!

  • Reply
    Keetha Broyles
    September 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Vidya! Yep, it was a brilliant idea.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you, dearest Keetha! πŸ™‚ Loved your Sunday post!

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    September 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    You are a great artist. I love your renditions.

    I would switch the child and tell myself that just because I am faced with a choice does not mean that one is right and one is wrong; they are just different options.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      πŸ™‚ Thanks Claudya!

      After we chatted on the phone, my gut feeling strongly told me a switch may be a positive idea, as children do tend to progress in natural settings. Still, my friend has to take the call, weighing all factors involved. Hugs! You’re right about the no right and wrong part. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Elle
    September 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Ah Vidya…what a lovely collection of Ganeshas. I can see why you love the one made of a variety of metals…it’s just beautiful. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy seeing India and it’s traditions through your eyes. You see beauty everywhere and I get to share in it…how great is that?

    I feel for your friend and being me I would begin by imagining exactly the outcome I wanted…and we all know what that would be…and then I think Betsy, as a teacher of little ones, has a great idea about the testing. Meantime, I’ll imagine happy things too.

    Love Elle
    xoxo

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      I am truly blessed to share these with you Elle. I love the shared joy.

      Yes,when I talk to my friend, I will share what you and Betsy said. In fact, I did tell her to focus on imagining the outcome – and literally attract it, since the little boy’s comprehension is good. Thank you for brightening my day!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    September 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    What a lovely and diverse collection of Ganeshas, Vidya, I love the stories which make them come to life. You are so creative and I especially like your drawing, he is so expressive and yet you only used a few strokes. And the dancing Ganesha – what a beauty! I came back from India with a small brass Ganesha, he has a place of honour on my sill where I can look at him each morning when I drink my first cup of coffee.

    I feel so sorry for your friend but like Betsy says it is difficult to give any advice not knowing more about her son. My gut feeling says “change schools”, downgrading his goals seems not to be a viable solution, does it?

    Thank you for a beautiful Sunday story with your Ganeshas and have a happy week!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Barbara! So good to see you back! Bearhugs at you! I love that yellow cloth Ganesha too – as it took me only ten minutes to make it. πŸ˜€

      So coffee with Ganesha? That sounds perfect!

      Re my friend, the word downgrade has me bristling a bit. I know he’s been improving and seems just a little way from talking. Sigh. I am praying for her.

      Have a great week!

  • Reply
    Laurie Matherne
    September 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Your idols are beautiful. As far as the child, I would suggest a new school based upon what you have shared with me. I am a former special education teacher. I have read of countless studies that if children are labeled as normal or above average, they tend to do better. Researchers have deliberately placed children considered below average or with learning disabilities in classrooms of accelerated learners, without telling the teacher that the child was diagnosed as with disabilities. The result? The child was often able to maintain the average of the peer group. When we downgrade a child to a slower or more secure setting, it should be because that’s the only option for the child to learn or be safe. In almost every case that I have studied, children with development delays have higher self esteem and higher achievement when they are allowed to be with children who are in the normal range.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you, Laurie. That is very valuable input and I am sure my friend will benefit from this. As I said in my previous comments, we’ve experienced this in our family – and have children begin to speak at the age of 7! And then there seemed no stopping them at all – it was as though they were making up for lost time! I am just praying she takes the right decision. πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Laurie Matherne
    September 23, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    i left a lengthy comment about the need to change schools. I don’t know if you received it.

  • Reply
    Fran Sorin
    September 24, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Vidya-Your post brought a big smile to my face this morning. You continue to teach about your rituals/celebratons in such a compelling, beautiful, and fun way. I’m in love with the colorful, clay idols. How you inspire! xxoo-Fran

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you, Fran! The next three months are full of festivals – and lots of holidays! πŸ˜€ Glad you enjoyed this collection! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Pattu Raj
    September 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Beautiful collection. Some of them look
    lke ” Kurumbu” Ganesha. We feel like smiling when we see him , then think of asking his blessings.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      Yes, Pattu, I think the form is so endearing – chubby and quite like a child sometimes. I always have the urge to give Ganesha a tight hug. πŸ˜€ I feel as if everything is possible with his blessings! Thanks so much for coming by. Did you make kozhukkattai for Chaturthi?

  • Reply
    Bill Dorman
    September 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing your love of the Ganeshas, you can never have too many, huh?

    I would vote to move the child; sounds like they are going backwards where he is now.

    Hola.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      No Bill – I can never have too many Ganeshas!

      I hear you about moving the child – that’s what I expressed to her too, in a gentle way, quoting real life similar cases. It is so hurtful to hear about “downgrading”. She’s quite upset. Sigh. I hope she takes the right decision. Thank you for your positive insight!

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever
    September 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I vote to move the child and my favorite Ganesh is the embroidered one in your living room!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Dear Jodi, thanks for your thought – I feel the same!

      Glad you like the Ganesha. It means a lot to me. Love, Vidya

  • Reply
    Emily Sovich
    September 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    You have a great collection! Thanks for sharing your stories!

    As for your friend, if this was happening with one of my kids I’d try switching schools before I let them “downgrade” my child. She could always switch him back later if it proves to be too much, but I’d give my little one every chance to be challenged and improve before I risked letting him regress!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Thank you, Emily!

      Yes, I’d move my child too, because it makes sense to move towards a positive outcome. I know my friend is working hard with the speech therapist and her son – and deserves to see progress. Right now i am just sending positive thoughts her way! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Joanna Jenkins
    September 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    You have a beautiful collection and a good eye for needlepoint. All are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    As for your friend’s child… I suggest having him professionally evaluated by someone outside the school before making the change so the parents are sure the next school is the right one for you… and it definitely seems like another school is in order. The sooner/younger a child can be helped the greater the odds are of them improving significantly. Sending prayers their way.

    jj

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Hi and welcome, Joanna. So happy to meet you – I’ve been enjoying your blog all morning, today! And thank you for the lovely comment about the Ganeshas!

      Yes, Betsy also suggested (earlier comment) a professional evaluation before making a change. I am overwhelmed by everyone’s wonderful response here.

      Thank you for being here today, and I do hope you’ll visit often!

  • Reply
    Rahul Bhatia
    September 25, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Wishing you and family a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi and you certainly have a lovely collection of those Ganesh paintings and idols!Thanks for sharing this with us, Vidya:)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you for the kind comment, Rahul! Ganesha makes me happy, always! Wishing you a great week ahead!

  • Reply
    vanita
    September 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

    the first statue? i have to send you a picture of mine. they are very very similar though i bought mine here. mine is maybe 3 inches tall. maybe less. but has big presence. your collection is beautiful sis!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      How sweet that is, Vanita! I find that even in the most artistic or creative form, even in a few strokes, Ganesha utterly rocks πŸ˜€ I am very possessive about my collection! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    J.D. Meier
    September 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I’m always a fan of rising to the challenge, and never take the downgrade.

    I think being told you aren’t good enough, especially at a young age, teaches people limits, and worse, sets expectations for others, that they are limited.

    I would prove them wrong, and exceed expectations. Of course, a key to that is the right support, as well as the right strategies and tactics, to make it happen.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Dear JD – so happy to see you here, today. Yes,I could never accept anyone telling me that a bright little child must be downgraded. You know, I come from an unusual family situation (single parent – Mom) and have gone through the pressure of family relatives trying to convince me that I wasn’t good enough of many things. I know what a hard time my Mom must have had, convincing me that I could do anything.

      As one of my friends suggested here, I’ve told my friend to get an independent assessment and then take action to invite progress, not a downgrade.

      Always appreciate your encouraging words, JD. Thank you very much!

  • Reply
    Arvind
    September 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Vidya,great photos!

    I also love Ganesha and until a couple of years ago I had over 100 in my collection.

    Then I shared them with some friends and they all also love Ganesha.

    Now this is spooky, but I also have a “panchaloka” Ganesha, which is almost exactly like yours!

    As for your friend’s son, she should definitely move him to the “normal” school. He will SPEAK one day soon!

    He is clearly a very gifted child as he knows the wisdom of not saying anything if there is no need to do so:-)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Dear Arvind! πŸ˜€ And here I was thinking I am the only one with the 100+ collection! πŸ˜€ I always gift Ganeshas, but never from my own collection.

      You know, I always tell my friend that her son will simply decide to start talking one day soon, and then make up for all the time lost – and this is quite a common thing. He’s such an affectionate child, bright and cheerful. Sometimes, I think, like my Grandma would say, that too much intervention and arriving at conclusions is not such a good thing. Sigh. I am sending her positive energy and praying very hard. I’ve given God a deadline of October 2012. Let’s see how he handles it πŸ˜€

      Hugs, always great to see you here!

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