Mumbai: At Girgaon, when Akhil Chandanwadi’s God Ganpati (sweet Ganpati) is brought from the workshop to the pandal, it stops at Zaoba Ram Mandir where Maha Aarti is conducted by locals. To ensure that the fervour and devotion is rightly captured, a Girgaon-based family has recreated the decoration to celebrate its 60th Ganeshotsav with eco-friendly material.
The Rele family took to eco-friendly decorations a few years ago. To ensure that it reflects the modern times, besides the Zaoba Temple and the aarti, the decoration includes the ongoing metro work and instances of people having to raise overhead wires so that Ganpatis in the area can navigate the congested roads without any hindrance.
A divine feeling
“It cannot be explained in words. It is a divine feeling when the maha aarti happens while the Ganpati is being brought. It is a tradition. The vibes are different and we wanted to show that,” said Mann Rele, 21, a student of advertising and visual arts, who spent a few hours preparing every day.
Rele and his family thought about the concept over two months ago. “My family members and I did everything from scratch. It was my father’s idea to have lighting in Ram Temple and stereos. He helped us with it,” he said.
“We have used sunboard instead of thermocol to decorate and medium-density fibreboard (MDF) sheets that will be reused next year. My last year’s work was given to someone and they are using it. Shadu clay was used to craft onlookers performing aarti, those stopping by for a glimpse of the Lord, devotees with folded hands at the temple and a foreigner taking photographs of the celebrations. They were made by my friend,” said Rele.
Decoration shows daily life and metro work
The decoration also shows daily life and metro work in full swing with a crane pulling debris, metro boards barricading the work and floodlights over it. A man can also be seen pulling up an overhead wire with a bamboo so that the Ganpati seated on an eagle with Lord Vishnu over the crown can navigate the road smoothly.
Rele said that once the festival is over, they will reuse the material. “The Ram Temple will be taken by the Zaoba Ram Temple. They will make an acrylic case for it,” he said, emphasising the ways in which they will keep the festival eco-friendly.