With the city getting set for Bappa’s arrival next Monday, the intense preparations are clearly evident on the crowded streets of the Peth areas. As Ganapati idols are installed in colourfully decorated pandals, homes, localities and temples the efforts put in are stupendous. Lights and garlands add up to the beauty of the idol. But, a lot of other detailing is done, which makes it the city’s biggest event of the year.
The festive fever has caught on and people are seen flocking to shops, street vendors to make sure the celebrations to welcome Bappa are complete. Puneite Shobha Mengade enthusiastically says, “I have been shopping since morning and even though it’s late in the day, I still have so much to buy. Every year at home, we do different decorations so I’m here to purchase jewellery and a sari for Gauri among other things.”
The city suddenly feels like it has come alive in different hues as shops have donned their best and streets are bustling with activity. With every nook and corner of the city selling Ganapati-related items, customers are spoilt for choice. “Be it the Trishul or the gold-plated sond for the idol, or even the Gauri idols, we have it all here. This year some new variety of designs have come for the necklaces we adorn the idol with,” says Manoj Matre, owner of New Payal Art.
To make the Ganapati idol looks more attractive, several shops are selling decorated platforms or asanas on which the idol can be placed. Jewellery to adorn the trunk of the idol, necklaces for the neck and head gear for the crown are common buys. “This year we have received a new design to cover the head of the Ganesh idol. It is called as a tope and it is designed similar to that of Shivaji Maharaj’s turban,” explains Amol Lahoti, the manager at Amol Garments located in Mahalakshmi Market.
With less than a week to go for Ganeshotsav, Avadhut Kulkarni and his wife Amrita have already purchased some of the necessities. “We already bought agarbattis and coconuts. But, flowers and other material which is to be used fresh we will make another trip for it,” adds Kulkarni. The flower market is a thriving one especially during Ganeshotsav. Yogesh More, a flower vendor tells us, “During this festival I have to get almost 100 kgs of flowers to sell and all of it gets sold out.”
Preparations for Ganeshotsav also includes keeping all the items important for the prayers ready. At Mohan Slate Depot, Mohan Date, the owner, mentions that during the festival, sandalwood incense sticks are the most preferred fragrance that is bought by many. “We also keep incense sticks that burn continuously for three hours. There are also sticks that burn just for 90 minutes long and come in different scents and colours. To make things easier for devotees, we have prepared a box of 23 items that are needed for the prayers as well,” he adds.
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