“This day marks the historic time when good triumphed over evil,” says Dadar resident Pankaj Mehta.
Mehta and his family have been visiting Chowpatty for the past three years to witness Ravan dahan, the burning of the effigy of the demon king Ravan.
Dussehra celebrations on Sunday evening saw a large crowd come out to watch the effigy of the 10-headed demon king being consigned to fire. Firecrackers lit up the sky, as families watched under tight police protection.
“Ravan had abducted Sita because he wanted to be killed by Lord Ram,” said Raju Kumar as he waited with baited breath for the effigy to catch fire.
Kumar, a resident of Bandra, believes in the mythological theory of Ravan being as pure as Lord Ram who wanted to attain moksha by dying at the hands of the apostle of nobility, Lord Ram.
As the 60-foot statue of Dashanan, which is touted to be one of the biggest statues in the city, is torched, a few Maharashtrian families began to wish each other Happy Dussehra.
“According to Maharashtrian custom, on Dussehra, people exchange leaves made of gold with one another to celebrate the day,” says 38-year-old Heta Darshani.
A spectacular show of fireworks accompanied the burning and the crowd of thousands cheered on as the multi-faceted Ravan was reduced to ashes.
“It’s my son’s first Ravan dahan and I want him to learn that even today, only people who do good win,” says 34-year-old Paresh Sampat.
While a crowd had gathered to watch the demonic king burn to the ground, a few Gujarati families had come to the beach for garba immersion.
“For us, garba symbolises Goddess Amba who stayed with us for nine days. Now, the time has come when we bid Her goodbye and wait for Her return next year,” says 23-year-old newlywed Pooja Patel, a resident of Ghatkopar.
As Patel carried the colourful earthen pot on her head, her family chanted various names of the Goddess and finally after placing a piece of mithai on the top, she immersed the Garba into the sea.
Meanwhile, in Badlapur near Kalyan, Ravan dahan was done for the first time. Around 36 effigies were set ablaze during the Ramleela performance at Dubey Baag. The programmed was organised by the Sankatmochan Hanumaan Mandal.