Mirroring today's world

Mirroring today's world

Ganesha Idols

Mirroring today's world

Every year, Bangaloreans look forward to picking up innovative idols during Ganesha Habba. This year, there is a lot of variety seen at the shops.

Some idols depict the challenges and difficulties faced by potters and farmers. Known as the Badagala Ganesha (farmer’s Ganesha), they are dressed like farmers, surrounded by six other farmers and animals, who are praying.

The idol has been made specifically to highlight the hardships faced by the farmers due to the failed monsoon. The popularity of the fictional character, Spiderman, has been used as well — Spiderman Ganesha idols are very popular.
These unconventional idols are dressed like the superhero and don’t have huge bellies or tusks.

The potters at Corporation Market and Minerva Circle say that the scanty rains have caused a lot of issues. “Many problems cropped up due to the failed monsoon. Ponds have dried up, so there isn’t enough mud to make the idols. We were compelled to use the damaged pieces of idols from previous years to complete our figurines,” says Ganesh Bedagar, a potter from Maharashtra.

Potters have experienced many technical and artistic changes in the last few years. According to Ganesh the bigger idols are more in demand than the smaller ones and there have been many changes in the way the idols are designed. “Earlier, we used to design the idols in the style taught to us by our ancestors. However, now everything is ruled by public demand. We keep the aesthetics in mind while making the idols. For instance, we shade the ears and the palms as opposed to using only a single hue,” he explains.

Technology has also improved with the passage of time. Potters say that the introduction of new tools has made the job easier for them. “The introduction of chamki guns this year has been very handy . Earlier, we had to stick the chamkis manually — which took a long time. The guns have reduced the time and labour,” informs Baba Kanjari, a potter from Sholapur.

Devidas, a potter working at Minerva Circle, says that potters migrate to Bangalore from Maharashtra every year during this time because there is a lot of scope ot earn. “We don’t make enough money in Maharashtra. I have been making idols in Bangalore for the last two years.

Apart from the popular Ganesha idols like Spiderman and Badagala Ganesha, we also made Flower Ganesha, Shiva Ganesha and Rama Ganesha — which resembles Rama and holds a bow and arrow,” he says.

While the City is busy preparing for the Habba, the potters are adding finishing touches to their idols, most of which are ready to be sold.