As soon as the cast of Shiva, Parvati and Ganpati arrives at home, Uday Zaoba tells his staff to handle it “very carefully”. After all, the deities have blessed several generations in the family for nearly century and a half.
Much before patents and casting became a reality for prominent Ganpatis in the city, Shiva, Parvati and Bappa have been adorning the same look for the Zaoba household in Thakurdwar. Uday said, “The first record of the cast was in 1879, butit’s much older.
It was our family patriarch who decided that theLord should lookthe same every year, which is why he got the cast done. It has Lord Shiva, Mother Parvati and Lord Ganesh.”
The castis given to the idol makers soon after Holi. Uday is the recorded ninth generation of the family. On Wednesday (today), during the Ganeshotsav prayers, the 10th and 11th generations will also be a part of the prayers. Leading property owners in the city, the Zaobas belong to the Pathare Prabhu community, considered to be among the original inhabitants of Mumbai. When Ganeshotsav was celebrated in the earlier times,idols were made of Shadu Mati and would turn out different each time.
“That is when our ancestor Narayan Moroji Zaoba decided that the family Ganpati should bear the same look,” said Nilesh Zaoba, Uday’s son. Besides the cast, theZaobaRamMandironJSS Road is also his patriarch’s legacy.
Speaking from his office at the temple, where the stone cast is also kept, Uday said, “He livedinthe 1800sandgave awayhisbungalowtobemade into Ram Mandir. It was his wish.” The idol maker Pradeep Maduskar said, “We begin early. Most of the time goes into assembling over 50 parts, making rudraksha mala, bangles, crescent, snakes among others.”
Once ready, the family gets it only after midnight. The decoration, the lamp, the three-level teak table on which the idol is kept, all decoration items has remained the same. “There is a specific time we get it home and decorate it. A dayiskeptasideonly for that. There is also a specific time we do sthapana and puja,” said Uday.