As the rains descend heavily over Maharashtra, devotees are staying indoors and missing out on the Ganeshotsav festivity.. As we enter the seventh day begins, Puneites are left with three more days to celebrate with this epic festival.
The queue to catch a glimpse of the Ganapati idol at popular mandals is never ending and devotees patiently wait for their turn to come. For the past 50 years, Lata Kale has been selling baskets of coconuts with roses, fruits and sweets, also known as toran in close proximity of the Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Mandal. “The number of people coming to visit mandals during Ganeshotsav has been increasing in the past years.
We sell thousands of coconuts every year to devotees. This year, due to the rains, lesser people are coming and that is affecting our business too. Once the rain stops, many people come out but mostly during the day,” she explains.
Tejas Dongare eagerly waits for this time of the year to enjoy the celebrations. However, as a devotee and as a businessman, this time, it has seen a setback. “I work on Laxmi Road which is the main hub for my business as well. It is highly crowded on the streets.
Due to the rains this year, we’ve seen a 40 to 50 per cent dip in our business. People aren’t stepping out of their homes due to heavy showers and this is having an impact on the market. You can’t roam around and enjoy the festival. There are rarely any crowds and that’s what is missing this year.”
Several mandals use the opportunity of Ganeshotsav to spread social messages or advocate a special cause. They hold street plays, workshops or depict their message through the theme of the decorations. Aditi Pote held the festival at her home for five days, “It’s already the seventh day and I have not been able to visit all the Manacha Ganapati mandals due to the rains.
Every year, they come up with unique decorations and elaborate set ups. It is impossible for us to step out when it is raining. Most of us held a visarjan on the fifth day but it was really difficult to go out as it was raining. We waited late at night for the rain to stop to go and immerse the idol. We even got drenched while bringing all the important materials, sweets and other things for Gauri puja.
I hope it isn’t raining too heavily on the last day of the festival.”
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