This Dadar housing society will complete Ganeshotsav century
The Indravadan Housing Society in Mumbai’s Dadar is marking the centenary of celebrating Ganeshotsav this year and the preparations for it have been two whole years in the making.
Laxman Sathe, a 95-year-old member of Indravadan Housing Society at Dadar (West), who moved to the society (then called Tulsidas Tejpal Chawl) in 1943, recollects the building’s Ganpati celebrations as a gathering of friends and relatives.
“There wasn’t an elaborate celebration like it is now. Women members of the society wouldn’t participate in the events then. It was more of a gathering to get people together, wherein we had various sports programmes, such as kho-kho and kabaddi, and a play enacted by the members of the society,” said Sathe.
This year, however, Indravadan Society will be marking a centenary of celebrating Ganeshotsav, and the preparations for it have been two whole years in the making. The logo for the centennial celebrations was unveiled on January 26, 2016, and ever since then, they started inviting all former residents to ‘return home’ for the 10-day festival.
Among the 300 former residents who are expected to join the celebrations are 70-year-old Usha Joshi Parashar, 70, who has come from the US and a relative of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar’s aunt still lives in the building which has replaced the old chawl.
Parashar booked her tickets well in advance and decided that she would come back for the “once-in-a-lifetime” event. “My father used to be very active in the society Ganpati celebrations, though he wouldn’t participate in the entertainment programmes, he wanted us to take part in the dance events and be a part of the festivities. This visit is more of a tribute to him, and a chance to meet some friends I haven’t seen in ages,” Parashar added.
More than 600 residents are involved in some preparation or the other, which includes dance performances, orchestra, making promotional videos, forming dhol tasha pathaks and one-act performances, among others.
Workers giving final touch to Ganpati Mandal for Ganesh festival of Indravandan Housing Society. ( Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo )
The chawl was one of the first in the city to respond to Lokmanya Tilak’s call to use Ganeshotsav as a rallying point for freedom fighters. “We are having former members of the society come back for the celebrations because that’s how Tilak had envisioned the Ganpati festival to be. Though, we would be missing a few people who were regular visitors, such as former cricketer Ajit Wadekar. But, we have a long list of celebrities who would come to take darshan of Bappa,” says Shekhar Shirwalkar, secretary of the society.
Talking about the earlier days of the chawl, Shirwalkar says that it was once a sanctuary for freedom fighters who stayed there when they were underground. “Swatantra Veer Savarkar, who stayed around, also visited us during festivals,” Shirwalkar adds.
Indravadan Society’s residents, for their hundredth Ganeshotsav, have created a Peshwa temple theme, with the entrance to the pandal taking the shape of a ‘100’ in Devanagari script. They have also decided to go eco-friendly this year, by putting all the nirmalya (leftover flowers) in the compost pit inaugurated by them a few months back.
“We have always had a small two-feet murti made out of shadu (natural) clay for more than 50 years now. But, this year, we will be immersing the idol in an artificial pond and have switched to wooden and cloth decoration, instead of thermocol. We will also be distributing prasad and souvenir in cloth bags,” said Dilip Vighne, the advisor for the Indravadan Society’s Ganeshotsav.
First Published: Sep 11, 2018 12:38:35