It is that time of the year again when the otherwise silent Maharashtra Bhawan, Sector 19, comes alive with strings of fancy lights, holy chants of Lord Ganesh aarti and groups of beautifully dressed people from the local Maharashtrian community, which sees womenfolk dressed in the best of their embroidered silk sarees and gajaras, while the men folk dressed impeccably in festive kurta pyjamas.
As the five-day Ganeshotsava commenced on September 19 at the Maharashtra Bhawan, we got talking to the Maharashtrian community about their eco-friendly Ganesh idols and celebrations, which also went online this year.
The 48th Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava is being organised by the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Samity. Every year, the Ganesh pandal is based on a theme and this time, the decorations of the pandal have been inspired by the famous Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai. “This time, we have an eco-friendly Ganesh idol made out of paper mache, brought in specially from Pune, where lies the heart of the festival,” said MB Sane, president of the Maharashtra Mandal.
Adding to it, Gaurav Chavan, who brought the Ganesh idol from Pune to the city, said, “The entire Ganesh pandal is made out of thermocol, and this time, we are celebrating the theme of the famous Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai and the colours used for the idol are similar to the ones used on the idol of Lalbaugcha Raja — one of the biggest and the most popular pandals in Mumbai. In fact, the decorations for the pandal have been brought in from Pune and are eco-friendly as well.”
The five-day celebrations of the festival in the city will see the community holding cultural programmes, which will see young girls dancing to popular Bollywood lavni numbers such as Chikni Chameli, Mala Jau De, besides some popular Marathi numbers. Besides which, the community will hold Aanand Mela, where typical Marathi dishes such as kadoo bonda, puran poli and modaks will be served.
Youngsters this year have made the festival hi-tech by posting a page of the local Maharashtra Mandal on Facebook and are celebrating it online with online aartis and wishes. Amit Songadkar, a student of Panjab University, said, “Everyone is busy these days, thus, we don’t get the time to come to the bhawan twice everyday for the aarti. So, I take part in the online aarti everyday and also share pictures of Ganesh pandals with my friends back in Mumbai and. It feels as if I am home with them, celebrating Ganesh utsav just like we used to before we moved out here.”