Yogesh Dhimate

Notes to Myself

Sep 18, 2021 - 3 minute read - Personal

Making Clay Ganesha At Home

This year was my second attempt to make the clay Ganesha idol at home to celebrate Ganesh Utsav. I am not much of an artist. Actually, I am afraid to draw, paint, sing, play an instrument, dance, or do any sort of work that’s considered remotely artistic in nature.

When I was in school, drawing and painting were my Achilles' heel. I would get the lowest grade possible in these subjects. In fact, I had to leverage my personal relationships with teachers, so they couldn’t flunk me in these subjects. Even with my excellent brownnosing, I distinctly remember scoring 40% in drawing one year. The same year I scored 90%+ marks in STEM subjects. Out of the peer pressure I also attempted the Elementary Drawing exam conducted by the Govt of Maharashtra and failed spectacularly in it. Simply put, I suck at art. That was enough of a deterrent not to try something heroic like making your own idol of a god, especially the one who is considered the master of all artistic skills.

In spite of my reservations about my mediocre skills, I decided to make an idol last year. Before investing in the procurement of supplies and committing to delivering the idol, I built a small prototype using clay doh. That wasn’t very bad. It looked like Ganapati. The mouse was even more adorable.

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Encouraged by this prototype, I purchased supplies and various colors. My weekend was put into good use. Instead of mindlessly watching television or scrolling on social media, I built something with my hands. Granted that it was mediocre, that was still my best attempt yet. When I started painting it, I realized that the eyes are the most difficult part of an idol. The idol’s personality is by the eyes. Even a minor imperfection would completely ruin the idol. I became very anxious about it and decided to not draw the eyes but rather glued them. The rest of the adornment was easy. I used craft stones and golden chains along with my wife’s cosmetic bindis to decorate it. The result was pretty good.

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Inspired by my earlier success of the first attempt in 2020, I tried making an idol again this year. I was more confident about handling not only the clay but also the brush while painting the idol. It turned out very well.

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As a pixel pusher who rarely builds things with hands, creating this idol was such a fantastic and fulfilling experience.

Another practice I put into action was Giving myself an ‘A’. This practice talks about unconditional self-acceptance without judging your skills. Instead of getting bogged down by expectations and performance pressure, this simple act of giving yourself an ‘A’ can do wonders.