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Why Adman Piyush Pandey Loves Ganeshas

Why Adman Piyush Pandey Loves Ganeshas

Ad man Piyush Pandey's collection of Ganesha idols is made up of gifts from friends and family

Ad man Piyush Pandey and his love for Ganesha idols Ad man Piyush Pandey and his love for Ganesha idols

Ad guru Piyush Pandey has always loved Lord Ganesha, right since childhood when his parents lived next door to Jaipur’s famous Ganesh temple. “Unlike Mumbai where Tuesday is Lord Ganesha’s day, in Jaipur it is Wednesday. Every Wednesday there used to be a mela (fair) outside the temple and we used to all go for darshan (to pay respects),” says Pandey, Chairman of Global Creativity and Executive Chairman India of Ogilvy.

Over the years, his love for Ganesha has continued and all those who know him are well aware of this. As a result, he is often gifted Ganesha idols by friends, family and admirers. So much so that he has over 100 pieces today. “I don’t think of myself as a collector. People have much bigger collections than mine. But I am very proud of what I have,” says the 67-year-old who has given the country some of the most famous tag lines including ‘Abki baar Modi sarkar’, ‘Chal meri Luna’, ‘Fevicol ka jod’ and ‘Kuch khaas hai’.

Pandey says that he really loves the creative liberty that society allows for Ganesha. “With this figure, people can play around, do only the trunk, or make only half of him. I have a whole lot of them where he is playing different roles.” One of Pandey’s favourite pieces is a Ganesha that his wife made out of M-Seal—a multi-purpose sealant. It holds pride of place on his desk. Another is a set of 11 Ganeshas where each is a cricket player.

Pandey says Ganesha is also the God of creativity. “In my 40 years in advertising, I have not written anything by hand without first writing ‘Om’—considered a symbol of Ganesha—on top of the page. Anything new you start, it starts with an invocation to Ganesha.”

Over the years Pandey has bought several Ganesha idols for friends and family. “If someone has moved to a new house or is starting a new job, I have gifted them a Ganesha as a sign of new beginnings,” says Pandey, adding that his mother used to do the same.

Ganesha also made an appearance when Pandey was the chairman of the jury at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2004, the first Asian to hold that distinction. “When I was the chairman of the jury in Cannes, I carried a small Ganesha idol for all the 41 members on my jury, saying that he is the lord of creativity, so vote from the heart and not by bias.”

Pandey, who is considered one of the most influential men in Indian advertising and was also honoured with a Padma Shri, says, “Ganesha is a part of my every pursuit. But you don’t mix advertising and religion.” 

 

@smitabw