BellaJaisinghani TNN; The Times of India, MUMBAI, Sept.6, 2012
Mumbai: Given that Ganeshotsav is not just a festival of,for and by big mandals and a grand spectacle of plaster of paris,individual craftsmen choose this season to display Ganpati curios that make a pretty picture throughout the year.
In Sion,Ramaben Shah,wife of a saffron dealer,adds an element of gimmickry to her miniature Ganpatis by sculpting them blindfolded.The biggest one is nine inches tall.I have been making small idols by hand without using a mould,since the year 2000.Throughout the exercise I chant mantras and shlokas to increase their spiritual potency, she claims.
Shah has several records to her credit,among them one for making 999 idols in a span of 24 hours.She claims to hold the world record for making 9,999 Ganeshas in 99 days,all washable and unbreakable.She claims to have made 62,000 miniatures within the past year,at the rate of 184 a day for 339 days.She has also conducted marathon idol-making sessions at Siddhivinayak temple.
However,Shah does not sell these idols off the shelf.She claims the pieces are for people who approach her with problems.They leave behind a token of their appreciation and I use this money to buy material for the next lot, she says.