Listen, I’m not a traveller. I hate the lack of structure and predictability travel entails. I can’t stand the suspense of bookings or deal with the frustration of cancellations. I have little patience for other people’s food and toilet habits, and want to yell at everyone and burn things to the ground when things don’t happen on time or in ways I consider correct. In short, I’m the Grinch and you should never ask me to travel with you.
The virtual world, however, is another matter and offers a fair share of delights for the socially-anxious noxious, introverted, control-freak, laptop-loving person like me. No itineraries, no leave applications, no cost and the best part? No people! I choose where I go, stay for 5 minutes or 50, and leave if I don’t fancy it. Don’t come at me with how it doesn’t compare with the real thing because as of July-August 2020, this is the only real thing. So, indulge me a little….
I’ve been in Mumbai for over a decade and have never been inclined to check out what’s arguably the most famous Ganeshotsav in this city. But this year, what with the lockdown and two doses of Section 144, they cancelled the annual public celebration in September around ‘Lalbaug-cha Raja’. And because you immediately want what you cannot have, I was struck by a strong desire to do darshan of Mumbai’s grandest god. So, I chose a virtual tour via click360.in—for some decent 360 degree views of the pandal.
Even on screen, the statue looks imposing—the standard is between 18-20 feet—lording it over from the end of a narrow lane, all wrapped in gilded...