Lord Ganesha’s Milk Miracle

Milk Miracle

Today begins the 11-days festival that will culminate in ganeshvisrajan.
I have been a follower of Lord Ganesha from the day the world saw the miracle of Lord Ganesha, the day every Ganesha Idol drank milk!
On September 21st 1995.
My first thought when I heard about this was that BJP or VHP or some right wing Hindu groups have unloaded thousands of statues with suction pumps or some other gimmick to politically capitalize on the sentiments. Or perhaps it was a new show-piece we would be able to buy after this publicity gimmick.
I didn’t even bother to check it by standing in the long queues. I wasn’t a temple-goer and loathed queues.
I shrugged off the story again when the lady I was interviewing received a call from Solan about Ganpati drinking milk. “It has been organized very well but then BJP has a powerful presence all over,” I said and returned to questioning the lady.
My next stop was Santacruz Police Station where I was investigating a story. I had to get some documents photo-copied. This got me the opportunity to witness the miracle, without even standing in the queue. I found a general store which also had a photo-copier. Even as the documents were being copies, I noticed a couple of persons were offering milk to an idol of Ganesha. I was mildly curious.
My first question to the shopkeeper was, “Where did you buy the idol? Who sold it to you?”
“Sir, this idol has been with us since decades!” said the shopkeeper.
Amazed, I picked up a spoon and offered milk to the stone idol. As the spoon touched the lips of the idol it disappeared. I offered one more spoon of milk. Again, it disappeared!
The unworldly happening brought worldly cities and towns to a standstill, and its vast stocks of milk – more than a million liters – sold out within hours. Just as suddenly as it started, it stopped in just 24 hours.
Television stations (among them CNN and BBC, radio and newspapers (among them Washington Post, New York Times, The Guardian and Daily Express) eagerly covered this unique phenomenon, and even cynical journalists held their milk-filled spoons to the statues of gods – and watched as the milk disappeared.
The scientists from India’s Ministry of Science and Technology offered capillary action as an explanation; insisted that the surface tension of the milk was pulling the liquid up and out of the spoon, before gravity caused it to run down the front of the statue. Skeptics called it mass hysteria.
And whether you call it a miracle or ‘capillary action’, every statue of Lord Ganesh drank milk at the hands of lesser mortals – even the disbelievers and half-believers.

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