In Focus

Bappa's Back In Colaba

By A Draft Colaba Correspondent

Colaba ushered in Ganesh Chaturthi with a rare sense of restraint and responsibility as residents maintained social distancing, wore the mandatory masks, kept distance from each other in public and kept the festivities as minimal as possible. After all, the police had clamped Section 144 across the city from 10 September to continue till 19 September warning residents to maintain COVID protocol as a third wave seemed imminent. And, all of Colaba complied. Police presence was felt strongly on Day One as police vans and police beat marshals arrived in full force.

Colaba's legendary pandals ushered in Lord Ganesha - the remover of obstacles - paying heed to the restrictions in place. The festivities were toned down to the bare minimum as pandal organisers concentrated on lighting up the zones rather than jacking up the music. The devout made their appearances in singles and scattered lots instead of the usual crowds and paid their respects to the Elephant-headed God who is expected to stay for the next ten days.

Sarvajanik Mandals like Colabachya Samrat, Colabachya Raja, Gatewaychya Raja, Feriwalyachya Raja, Colabachya Ladka and others propped up their signature pandals but kept the idols restricted to four feet in height. Devout residents like Jitendra Ramalingam, who has been getting Ganpati over home, for over six decades, a pratha that has been passed down from his father, too celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with family in tow. "Not for once have I missed getting Ganesha over home, since birth. This time, however, I had to cut down on the festivities and maintain COVID restrictions. I'll make it up for it, next year around, once COVID goes for good," he says, summing up the popular sentiment among people.

Why, even Sayeeda Shaikh and Anamika Maurya even slipped out of their homes from a strict Navy Nagar residential zone on the pretext of taking Anamika's son to the doctor only to pay their obeisance to Lord Ganesh at Colaba Market. "Bappa ko milna bhi zaroori tha," says Sayeeda who has been worshipping the Lord, year after year, with friend and equally devout home-maker Anamika.

Colaba is all set to brave the elements and keep within restrictive norms to celebrate the city's most favourite God's arrival, stay and visarjan.

Third Pasta Lane resident Jitendra Ramalingam (third from left) celebrates Ganeshutsav with family

The Ramalingam family will immerse 'Bappa' after one day

Bharatdwar Mitra Mandal's Gatewaychya Raja at Gateway of India 

Strand Mitra Mandal kept Bappa's idol in a vehicle this year

Shiv Seva Mitra Mandal's Ganesha Pandal at Lala Nigam Road aka Colaba Market

Anamika Maurya, Sayeeda Shaikh, Prachi Maurya and Prateek Maurya (from left)

Colaba Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Mandal's Colabachya Raja inside Colaba Market

Sassoon Dock Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Mandal's Colabachya Ladka near Sassoon Docks

Shivshakti Mitra Mandal's Ganesha Pandal opposite Sassoon Docks

Shivkrupa Mitra Mandal's Ganesha Pandal at Wodehouse Road

Bal Gopal Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Mandal's Ganesha Pandal at Wodehouse Road

Sobani Mitra Mandal's Ganesha Pandal at Sobani Marg

Cuffe Parade Feriwale Ganeshutsav Mandal's Feriwalyachya Raja at Cuffe Parade

Shiv Sai Mitra Mandal's Ganesha Pandal at Maker Towers in Cuffe Parade

Colabachya Samrat at Second Pasta Lane

(Colaba residents and pandals keen on being featured at The Draft Colaba during the ten-day festival may write in to with images of their Ganpati idols and pandals while ensuring they maintain COVID-appropriate behaviour and in keeping with norms laid down by the police, at all times.)

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