Mumbai: The area below the Lalbaug flyover was a hive of anxious activity. A section of devotees waited patiently for a final glimpse of their beloved deity even as those separated from their loved ones waited to connect after their darshan. Selfies were being clicked with the prominent mandals serving as a backdrop.
Thursday evening saw the Lalbaug Chinchpokli belt choc-a-bloc despite the heavy downpour as devotees made a bee line for a last chance to seek blessings before they bid that beloved Bappa good-bye.
"This is the first time we have come. We had always wanted to have a darshan because we had heard a lot about Lalbaugcha Raja," said Prasad Vende who waited for his relatives outside Lalbaugcha Raja with his mother.
Prasad, a Bhiwandi resident, had taken a day off to ensure that he did not miss the opportunity of a darshan. Bare-footed Pawars from Dombivli, were visiting the Lalbaugcha Raja for the twelfth year. "Except for the last two years we have been coming every year.
Our desires are fulfilled," said Sravan Pawar with red vermilion smeared on his forehead. Shravan and his wife rushed to the Chichpokli stationto catchthe train back home.
Chinchpokpli railway station had become an announcement centre where the police used loudspeakers to guide people on the way to visit Lalbaug and other prominent Ganpatis. Chinchpokli is closest to Lalbaugcha Raja, Ganesh Gulli and Chintamani Ganpati which draw large crowds.
"We visited Mumbaicha Raja yesterday and today was reserved for Lalbaug and Ganesh gulli," said Shubham Jadhav who had come fromKamothe with his friends. The group of friends decided to mandal hop in the last three few days to make the most of their trip. Vasundhara Tambe who was also with Sbhubham said, “When we came, it was not so crowded.
We managed to have mukh darshan at Lalbaug in an hour or so. We are now going to Chintamani.” At prominent Ganpati mandals, there were mainly two lines besides that for VIPs. One of the 'Navas' (wish fulfilling), and the other of Mukh Darshan.