As previously mentioned, Ganesha is a powerful God here in India, a protector and all around good being to have in your corner. Historically revered. Tradition bound. Universally respected.
But then youth shows up and decides to put its stamp on things. We were in Mamallapuram recently (don't worry, future postings will detail the trip), a town known for stone carving, both ancient and current.
Today's carvers aggressively steer you into their shops in the hope some half ton waist-high monolith becomes an impulse buy (those who knew James' father are smiling). One young group of carvers had an enlightened thought and have produced little Ganesha pieces with a modern twist. We asked one of the young carvers if this wasn't damaging to Ganesha's reputation. "Oh no," he replied. "Everyone knows it's in fun. Ganesha smoking, that would be bad. But this is fun." Steve Jobs, enjoy.