The last few days have been hectic for Pooja Thanawala, 23, of Borivli, who has been preparing for Navratri with shopping for the traditional ghagra choli and getting spa treatments.
Navratri kicks off this Saturday, and people are busy attending garba classes, taking up diet regimens and grooming themselves.
“I went to a hair spa on Tuesday to set my hair for Navratri, and will also go in for facial cleansing on Thursday,” said Thanawala, a mass communication student.
With the festival popular across all ages and communities, garba classes are finding an increasing number of takers.
Folk dance trainers Jigar and Suhrad Soni have about 600 students learning garba this year across their five centres based in the western suburbs and one in Charni Road.
“People of all ages want to learn to do the garba properly, and we have more than 200 housewives learning with us About 100 people joined after the Ganeshotsav, to learn the dance form in just two weeks,” said Suhrad Soni, who has been conducting garba classes since 1998. “About 20% of the students are non-Gujaratis and include Mahrashtrians, Marwadis, and a South-Indian,” he added.
Darshan Rajawat, a Borivli resident, enrolled in a garba class in his neighbourhood for the first time last week.
“Many of my friends were learning how to do the garba, and since I plan to attend Navratri events with them this year, I decided to join as well,” said Rajawat, 22.
Many Mumbaiites are also opting for quick weight-loss ses sions to look their best for the nine-day festival.
Deeksha Shah (name changed), 28, has been hitting the gym regularly over the last month, and has been on a strict diet routine since the last ten days to get into shape for Navratri.
“I had put on some weight over the last few months, and after consulting a nutrition ist 10 days ago, I have started eating carefully, avoiding rice and potatoes. Since I am mar ried into a Gujarati family, it is important that I look good when I go for a Navratri event,” said Shah, who works with an event management company.