With handmade Ganeshas styled on trending news topics- from local to international - Dayananda’s house in Malur in Kolar district, Bengaluru, turns into a museum during the Ganesh Chathurthi week every year.
Together, his wife Komala and Dayanada have crafted 16 different Ganesha idols this year. The topics range from the Karnataka Pre University Chemistry exam paper leak to Bengaluru’s demolition drive and JNU’s Kanhaiya Kumar to the Rio Olympics. He has even included the Rajinikanth-starrer “Kabali”.
Thirty-seven-year-old Dayananda works as an art teacher in Kolar Mahila Samaja, a private school in Malur taluk. Komala is an English teacher in a government school in the same taluk.
All the models are made out of Plaster-of-Paris (POP) and thermocol. Some of them are also working models.
“Among the working models are – ‘Delayed work in Bengaluru metro’ and ‘5000 year old flying machine’ that was reportedly found Afghanistan,” Dayananda said.
“Ganesha takes on various roles in these models. From a person advising Congress leader Ramya about her comments on the BJP’s role in the Freedom Movement to accusing the state government on how unfair the demolition drive was. I made one on the Mahadayi river dispute where Ganesha, who is a Supreme Court judge, gives a verdict in favour of Karnataka,” he said.
Dayananda, who has been making these idols for the last 16 years, said that he was inspired by his grandfather.
“My grandfather used to make Ganesha idols and donate them to people every year. It wasn’t a ritual, but just something he wanted to do. I used to help him in making these small idols. But when I was in college I thought I’ll style the Ganesha differently. I started with using different materials. Gradually I went on to taking up ideas from history like Ajanta-Ellora caves. It is only in the last four years that I have been using ideas from news events,” he said.
Dayananda says that Komala and he keep tabs on the news events from December every year and start making the models about 15 days before the festival.
“We keep the scripts ready because we don’t want to have anything outdated. Like I could have finished everything 2-3 months in advance, but I would have missed out on the Rio Olympics,” he pointed out.
However, Dayananda had to leave out Mekadatu dam issue because of the lack of time.