From Ramayan to Gondhali dance, families bond over ganesh decor
The Dhoot family from Seawoods has designed a 3D model of key events of Ramayan, while the Nath family from Nerul have attempted to show the aspects of Gondhali folk dance form popular in rural Maharashtra
The 10 days of festivity surrounding the arrival of Lord Ganesha is incomplete without a mention of the larger than life decoration work. While the public pandals are known to depict mind boggling creativity, not falling behind either are the decorations done by the household Ganpati decorations. Devotees hosting the deity in their homes leave no stone unturned to make the 10 days festival a grand affair.
From depicting the complex events from Ramayana to spending hours to recreate the traditional lifestyle of Mahrashtrian family in village or drawing life size rangoli of Ganesha, the themes used by Navi Mumbai families are endless.
Seawoods residents, the Dhoot family, has a tradition of hosting the deity for the entire ten days and this year, the four-member family has painstakingly built a 3D model of 20 key events of Ramayana. The decoration work was undertaken in a matter of seven days wherein the family worked as a team during the night. The idea of keeping Ramayana as the theme came from the 15 year old daughter Deesha Dhoot. “For the last seven days, we have put in five to six hours of work at night to bring the chapters of Ramayana to life. Be it the ideation, selection of events, the appropriate means of depicting them, the materials to be used etc - every aspect was thought and executed as a team,” said Deesha.
Almost 20 events of Ramayan have been portrayed in a 60 X 50 inch set up. The detailing that has gone into creating the model wherein even the presiding deity of Ganesha is shown to be holding bow and arrow has become a talk of the town. “It’s like seeing the entire Ramayan at a glance. The detailing with which the pandal is made is something to be experienced. The ornate walls of Ayodhya, the rustic life in the forest, every aspect of Ramayan is there to be seen in 3D,” said a resident Sangeeta Vyas.
A similar personalised feat has been achieved by the Nath household in sector 27, Nerul. Varsha Nath for the past 20 odd days has spent hours sewing multiple cloth pieces to prepare different styles of the nine-year Nauvari saree. Likewise, she has scanned the markets to use traditional miniature Maharashtrian jewellry to adorn the dolls used to depict the village lifestyle. “The younger generation has little idea about the traditional lifestyle and even less is known about the age-old art form Gondhali dance form popular in the interior of Maharashtra. This year I purchased over 20 odd Barbie dolls. I draped them in Nauvari sarees stitched by hand and positioned them in a rustic household setting. I got the kids involved to make the mud flooring seen in the village, then cardboards were used to make the huts and for the backdrop of stone walls, I used paper balls. We innovated on stuff we use in daily life to bring alive the village life in Maharashtra ,” said Varsha.
The work that goes into decoration of the pandal is stated to strengthen the family bond as well as increase awareness amongst the younger generation about the Indian culture and traditions. “The days that went into preparing the pandal I see it as quality time with family. We spoke, discussed and came to a consensus so it is a worthwhile effort which even prompts the younger generation to do research work therefore stay rooted to our culture and tradition,” said Deepa Dhoot.
True to the festive fervor of bringing families together, the life size rangoli made by Mitali Surve of Nerul has been seeing a large number of visitors. The homemaker is a self-made artist, this year has drawn a 5ft x 7 Ft image of Ganesh with colors traditionally used for laying of rangoli. “ Since Lalbagcha Raja has a large fan following I have depicted this image through rangoli. The response I have received is amazing as there are families coming from far off to see my work which is the ultimate reward and resonates with the festival’s foremost intention - to bring people together,” said Mitali.