Bappa- A spoken word chant about Ganesha- The Indian Elephant Headed Child God

This poem I am now going to perform, I chose because this is Pune, and it is the Ganesh Festival. And there is nothing more poetic, nothing more rhythmic in this city then this delightful little child god, with an elephants head who personifies innocence and pure knowledge.

He is the beginning of everything and he was the beginning of my spoken word journey too, this is the first poem I wrote specifically for a poetry slam. And I stand here to perform before you with a pure desire that you all, connect with what this God personifies for me, for Pune and for



This god who is also

The lord of dance

And the God of the beats

Of the drums that resound

In your houses and streets


Wake me up from my slumber

From the earth split asunder

Till the heavens they pray me

To rise up and meet


You pull out those dhols

And the dust settled gongs

And you meet at the mellow

Of the mid day heat


Every evening you master

And your movements get faster

And you’re covered with sweat

For the rhythms you love


Till the banks of the mutha

Resound with a rumble

Reflecting the thunder

And the lightning above


TIs a beautiful vision

see the men and the women

practice rapt with attention

Till the last shutters close


They smile in elation

And they play in unision

Warm beads of emotion

Perspire their clothes


The shoes do not match

With her kurti n salwar

Her duppatta its wrapped

Tucked into her waist


Screaming MOrya! With passion

She is drenched with exhaustion

She bangs with her tipru

Loose hair on her face


sparks off the hammers

Pound into the bell

Muscles are screaming

They glisten the night


The prance of the banner

The fifteen foot pole

boys jumping with rigour

they dance in delight


The health driven jogger

the homecoming hustler

The languid tapori

They smile at the sound


Over the bridges of the river

The people lean at the railings

While down through the arches

The drum strokes resound


Oh yes he is coming

That child he is coming

He is riding a mouse

He is here to destroy


All things that berate you

That conspire to hate you

He annihilates evil he’s

The giver of joy


So rise up ye people

Pick up the lazeems

Throw Gulal in the air

Get on to your feet


I am the lord of the dance

And the God of the beats

From the drums that resound

In your houses and streets


Bola ganapati bappa- Morya!

Bola mangala murti- Morya!!!


Ten days are a jumble of dances and music

Where people assemble to be entertained

You walk through the night and the streets will be filled

With the bustle to look at the mandals displaying


Tales of history and culture or of wars and disaster

Or a wall of sound boxes with woofers so loud

That you’re ears will be wrecked but you say what the heck

You live only once so you dance with the crowd!



You walk till you drop and eat butter pav bhaji

You wear horns and honk horns and you don’t care why

You hold the hand of your girl because you have to you know

It’s crowded so she won’t get lost in the fry


And at four in the morning your outing is ending

The crowds thin a little and the woofers die down

You can stop in the streets and look on at a statue

And at the brink of exhaustion, you will hear his sound


You may be eating a dosa, at an unearthly hour

Served by a sleepy waiter whose feet are so sore

Or you may be observing, the golden enamelling

Of the dagdushet Ganapati like never before


And its that combination of joy and exhaustion

That release of from rationale where you think from your heart

And the moment stops, you could hear a pin drop

And you hear from the statue the voice of the lord


I am the beginning and I am never ending

I play with life’s rhythm and I play with its rhyme

You flock to me unceasing your devotion increasing

I give you endless blessings till the ending of time


Every corner of Pune turns into a temple

Its not just the statue where my form resides

In the tea shops and showrooms

The restraints and cloakrooms

In the bus stops and kitchens I will be by your side


I’m what brings you together

You are the soul of the city,

These crowds have a power

That is rivalled by none


So go follow your passion

I will give you my blessing

Start now at this moment

You’re time has begun


So rise up ye people

Pick up the lazeems

Throw gulal in the air

And get on to your feet


I am the lord of the dance

And the God of the beats

Of the drums that resound

In your houses and streets!


Bola ganapati bappa! MOrya

Bola mangal murti! MOrya!



It is so they get ready.

They are blessed they are heady

With elation devotion divine and in love

They make the procession

His last celebration

His last halleluiah

His departure has come


From each part of the city

They are hardened and gritty

To bang on through the night

Till it’s time to immerse


They tie the drums to their waist

With a smile to their face

They fall in line with the dancers

Like a poem in a verse


Like lips do a purse

Like an army walking

Like a large crowd thronging

And the drums start banging


Like a caterpillar crawling, it’s a many footed line

While it’s walking it’s a beating with a rhythm and a rhyme

While the drumming of the drums go a thump thump thump

The banging of the cymbals go a clash clash clash


As they smash they resound, and the children make a dash

Running fast and elated as the caterpillars crash

Matching rumble with a rumble it’s a boom boom boom

While the bell sounds a toll with a clang clang clang


And they rang with a bang and the city people sang

With elation and emotion from the stores and the stands

While the flags cut air with a whoosh whoosh whoosh

Cheering as they hailed with a jai, jai jai


SO they played while they made people dance to the brink

Of a joy so profound with their sinew and their strength

When they sagged they rose up with a hey! Hey! Hey!

To the beat of the tasha with tad tad tad!


As they cried rad. rad. and their chatter bad. bad.

As children made rukus, and their mother’s kad kad

They were silencing their kids with a slap slap slap

girls in their anklets went a tinkle tinkle tink


As they clinked with their kajal laden eyelashes they blinked

The dude in the pathak gave his paramour a wink

And he banged with a vigour and a dhang dhang dhang

As she blushed and she laughed and it rang rang rang



And it sang in his ears as he walked with the band

And he shouted to the skies with a tipru in his hand

He called to the lightning with a dhol dhol dhol!

To rhythm of his love he gave a bol bol bol


[Marathi Section]

Pathakachi paule phude phude jaude

Vajavnarya manasasathi jaaga jara sodun de

Chengra chengri karu nako, dhakka salya deu nako

Ladies ahet phude jara respect tyanna tari de


Ghoshna tu sod sod, moray he bol bol

Kad awaj jasa vij pade tad tad tad

Tipru te ghum ghum, Ghanti che tun tun

Garjatate dhola kas dhad dhad dhad


Tashya cha tad tad, lazeem chi khan khan

Nagadyache tan tan, zhanza chi zham zham

Woofer dhad dhud, dj che chur chur

Bevdyancha rantipana, bhandnaryacha tana bana


Chala deva chala ata, tyachya gavi dev janar

Rozachya hya jeevanat mazha man nahi rahnar

Ratra bhar kuthe phirnar, arti kuthe karnar

Ukadiche modak atha kuthun chorun khanar?


Jiv jiv ramala, ghum ghum ghumala

Gol gol phirla, kasa basa sarala

Deva gela tol maazha, deva gela mol maazha

Paisa gela pani gela, jama kela sara gela


Ki gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar

Bhar bhar bhar bhar bhar bhar bhar

Tujhya darshanala kashi gad bad gad bad


Ki gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar

Tuchya kade gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar


Tuch kar mala par par par par

Tuch maazha ghar dar dar dar dar

Tuzhya kadhe alo deva kahi nahi rahilo

Tuzhya madhe jaude me par par par


Gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

PAvasache sar sar sar sar sar sar sar

Gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar

Gar gar Gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar sar


Moraya Moraya mee baal taanhe

Tujheech sewaa karoo kaay jaane

Anyaay maajhe kotyaan-akotee

Moreshwara baa tu ghaal potee


About Chandrakant Redican

A researcher and teacher based in Pune, India,
Video | This entry was posted in Poetic, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bappa- A spoken word chant about Ganesha- The Indian Elephant Headed Child God

  1. Shivani says:

    Beautiful poem Sunny…I like how one gets the rhythm as one reads the poem……just great! 😀

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