Whether it is the office goers who have an unending list of work or students with a load of subjects to cover for impending exams or the women having the herculean task of righting a messy household; everyone makes sure to be present for festival celebrations.
More so, if it is in their housing society, it is a chance to catch up with friends who, more or less have the same commitments.
And, preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in housing societies are in full swing as the festival is just a few days away. Orders for the idols having been placed already, organisers are taking out time to chalk out plans for entertainment programmes to be held, supervising the decoration work for the pandals, sending invites to society members to be present for the festivities.
Nandkumar Nair, member of the festival committee in Maharaja Cooperative Housing Society (CHS) in Vashi has a complete 10-day celebration, replete with programmes put up by children in the society. “People of different religious identities come together for our Ganpati celebrations. So, we have dance and music programmes, games for both young and old.
Also, last year, we held a novel ceremony of felicitating senior citizens of 80 years and above. It was a gesture to let them know that they are cared for and always thought about. We are contemplating to do something of this sort this year as well.”
“Women of our society will prepare different kinds of prasad every evening. Also, on some days three families of the society will pool in resources and host a dinner for the all the residents. It is a unique feature of our society and fosters oneness,” said Nair.
Shiv Simiran society in Koparkhairane has an elaborate list of programmes to engage the residents during their five-day Ganpati celebration. From musical chair, to entertaining quizzes, dance and singing competition and fancy dress; kids have a lot to look forward to, this year. For women also, on the third day, there is a cooking competition based on the theme ‘pulses’ and a slew of other games including Tambola and Housie.
Housing societies prefer to not go in for big, showy idols and most of them have idols of the height of 3-6 feet. In Manoshi CHS in Ghansoli, residents have opted for a traditional looking Ganpati idol that is 3 feet in height. They feel that not only does it look good but is most suitable during visarjan as the roads are filled with potholes.
“Children in our society actively organise group and solo dances during the Ganpati celebration. On the third day we also have a fun fair wherein our kids put up stalls of different snacks and sell it at nominal rates.
They have the satisfaction of doing something productive so we have this every year. On the day of visarjan, it is a holiday for women as we organise a dinner buffet for all the residents,” said Anil Yadav, head of festival committee.