Green Fes­tiv­i­ties

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

The

frag­ile walls of Bhagya Na­gar re­ver­ber­ated with joy­ous cries of “Gan­pati Bappa Mo­rya” this past Thurs­day as res­i­dents rolled out the red car­pet to wel­come the Ele­phant God—his first visit to the non­de­script chawl which be­longs, to quote a lo­cal, to the pre-mo­bile phone era. The young team, true to its spirit, brought home an eco-friendly, clay Gane­sha idol, along with an im­mer­sion tub and a hand­ful of tomato seeds. “The statue will melt in a week’s time in the tub and the seeds will sprout within a month or so,” said He­mant Vish­wakarma, a pho­tog­ra­pher who worked out the nitty-gritty of the one-and-half-day fes­tiv­i­ties. Us­ing clay and can­vas, Vish­wakarma and his friends dec­o­rated the pan­dal with a scene de­pict­ing the steady de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of ecol­ogy and its grave ef­fects on mankind. Paint­ings on the same theme by chil­dren lent a dash of colour to the man­dap. Nei­ther were there crack­ers nor loud songs from pop­u­lar Hindi pot­boil­ers. Women res­i­dents took turns to cook prasad for Gane­sha, and the choorma lad­doo were much in de­mand. But­ter milk re­placed aer­ated drinks, and Navraj, the se­cu­rity man, was roped in to do the aarti. As the Gane­sha statue was be­ing given a warm sen- doff on Fri­day evening, though, the young ones had their way—boys and girls danced their way to glory to the rus­tic beats of drums and dho­lak. in an emer­gency. Lokhande and his team had given a fire-fight­ing demo at a school, which 10-year-old Zen Sa­davarte had at­tended with her class­mates. Weeks af­ter the demo, the child used what she had learnt to guide res­i­dents of her Parel build­ing to safety dur­ing a blaze. Ex­actly a year ago, Lokhande’s wife Rashmi, who is the dis­as­ter man­age­ment cell’s deputy chief, had re­ceived the very same ti­tle for her quick re­sponse dur­ing the del­uge of Au­gust 29, 2017. The duo is now fondly re­ferred to as “the dis­as­ter cou­ple” in civic cor­ri­dors. (Con­trib­uted by Am­bar­ish Mishra, Richa Pinto & Mo­hammed Wa­ji­hud­din. Com­piled by Rucha Biju Chitro­dia)

THE PRO­TEC­TOR: PSI Ra­jen­dra Kale has in­stalled a Ganesh idol dressed like a po­lice of­fi­cer at his res­i­dence

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