Mumbai: Want a darshan of Ganpati Bappa but too tired or afraid of braving the crowds and the commute to make it to the famous venues? Ganesha is streaming live — get a darshan online. This comes as a boon for countless devout Mumbaikars, especially senior citizens, who cannot jostle through serpentine queues. For some years now, Lalbaugcha Raja, the city’s most popular Ganesha, has been dispensing blessings online.
Mumbaikars wish more big mandals offered this facility. “It is good for people like us who cannot handle crowds and long hours of waiting. For a couple of years, we have been blessed with live darshan of Bappa without waiting in queues and at closer quarters than we would in real life,” said Meena Tanpathak, 66, a Parel resident.
Another Sion resident, Uday Lotlikar, said it is the safest and quickest way to catch a glimpse of their favourite deity. “Even on the train, I sometimes feel like seeking blessings while on my way to work. It doesn’t even matter which part of the world you are. Accessibility is the best part of live darshan,” Lotlikar added.
Lalbaugcha Raja, which is the only mandal in Mumbai to live-stream for 24 hours, said this has not hampered footfall. “On the contrary, it widens our reach, as our Bappa can reach even those devotees who cannot make it to the pandal. Having said that, actual darshan is an altogether different feeling,” said Bala Padelkar, president of Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal.
Many mandals record aartis (prayers) and upload it online. The Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal in King’s Circle uploads its important aartis and also live-streams the visarjan on its website.