Gudi Padwa
Gudi Padwa

Mumbai: The novel coronavirus took a toll on a string of festivals such as Gudi Padwa and the Chaitra Navratri, which started on Wednesday.

The observants had to celebrate the fests without the traditional paraphernalia. They were compelled to rely upon whatever stocks they had from last year's celebrations.

Gudi Padwa, which marks the new year for Maharashtrian households, is usually celebrated on a grand scale. Most of the places witness rallies, especially those by women, who don traditional Marathi attire and participate in bike rallies.

But all that glitter was absent this year owing to the 21 days lockdown declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The outbreak of corona dampened the festive mood especially because of the non-availability of supplies.

"We were compelled to limit our celebrations within our household thus we moved to our family home in Phaltan. This Gudi Padwa was simple yet joyous for us," said Mankunwar Deshmukh, who is an advocate by profession.

According to her, the 'Gathi" a traditional sweet, which is basically a garland of hardened sugar, was not available in the market. "On the advice of my sister-in law, we prepared the Gathi out of simple sugar.

Garden flowers replaced elaborate flower garlands," added Deshmukh. Similar was a situation at the Sarsar family of Mahim, which would be observing continuous nine days fast in view of Chaitra Navratri.

"There was nothing in the market right from flower garlands, chuniri (for the goddess) or other items used in Pooja," said Sheetal Sarsar. "Owing to the present circumstances, we had to suffice with whatever we had from the last year.

Since our beliefs matter, we did Pooja with whatever was available with us," Sheetal added. Not only the observants, the deadly virus even affected the business of those dealing in pooja items or other required articles.

"Every year we earn a handsome income during this one day of Padwa and then the following nine days of Chaitra Navratri. But this year we could not earn a single penny, and this would have a huge impact on our lives," said Nathu, who sells garlands at Chembur.

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