A month after the Petlawad blast in MP claimed 78 lives, residents in the area have taken to pujas and havans to cope with their loss and fears.
Haunted by a fear of ‘akaal maut’ (untimely death), people are gathering solace from the rituals after the ghastly September 12 accident.
“People of the area are organizing puja and havans as most of the people are shocked and in fear and the pujas are bringing them peace,” said Mukesh Sisodia, a local scribe from Petlawad.
“We believe that 78 akaal maut (untimely deaths) took place in the town and the (souls) of these people need proper rituals so they can rest in peace and not bother others,” said Piyush Joshi, a priest who is also an orgainser of a grand puja and havan near the spot of the blast.
The grand puja and havan has been organised by locals on Saturday to rid the town of inauspicious influences.
“Hum chaahte hain kee Petlawad ka grah kate aur dobara aisa koi hadsa na ho (we don’t want another tragedy like Petlawad to happen),” said the priest.
“We have called 25 pandits from Pratapgrah (Rajasthan) and more than 20 priests to perform these rituals. This will surely help us to get-rid of ‘buri atma’ (evil spirits) and provide us with peace,” said Vijay Rathore, another resident of the area.
Prior to the havan, a grand durga-path and geeta-paath will also be performed.
“In the past month, the sales of ‘Pooja Samagri’ have also increased dramatically. Some people have been performing daily havans and pujas since the blast,” said Lal Chandra, a seller of puja items at Jhanda Bazar in the town.