Sculpting a legacy: Meet the Mumbai family making Ganpati, Durga idols for the past 90 years

Now, the Mumbai family’s third generation is slowly taking over the reins of this business

mumbai Updated: Sep 21, 2017 00:40 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Prakash Parab at an idol making workshop in Byculla on Monday.(Pratik Chorge/ HT)

While other families get together during festive occasions to celebrate, the Parabs meet for work. When their ancestor Bhikaji Parab started making religious idols with his brother Pandurang,he couldn’t have guessed that this tradition would continue even 90 years later.

Before Ganeshotsav and Navratri, Byculla resident Ashok Parab’s cousins join him at his workshop to sculpt Ganpati and Devi idols.

Each person has now mastered a particular skill and thus, their roles are well-defined.

While one brother looks after the finishing and painting, another makes ornaments for the deity, another sculpts the idol and one of them paints the eyes.

“We don’t interfere in another’s work. Ashok, who heads the whole process, looks after all the orders. That’s his full-time work. We are all here to contribute to a family legacy,” said Prakash Parab, who works at a factory at Kurla.

Earlier, the group lived together, but they now have their own homes.

Ashok’s cousin Bhikaji, comes to Mumbai from Sindhudurg specially to paint the deity’s eyes.

Now, the family’s third generation is slowly taking over the reins of this business.

There are nine people at the workshop this year, the youngest of whom are two college students. Omkar Parab, who is in the final year of his bachelor’s degree, and his brother Prathamesh have now started working with their father and uncles.

“We make it a point to observe how everyone works. That’s how we learn,” said Omkar.

First Published: Sep 21, 2017 00:39 IST