Mumbai: Women Steal The Show During Bike Rally At Girgaum's Gudi Padwa Celebration

Mumbai: Women Steal The Show During Bike Rally At Girgaum's Gudi Padwa Celebration

The Girgaum bike rally has been attracting a lot of young women to participate in the procession and celebrate Maharashtrian culture.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 07:18 PM IST
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Girgaum Bike Rally | Vijay Gohil

Beating the scorching heat, Mumbaikars hit the streets to welcome Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian new year, with pomp and show on Tuesday. Keeping in line with the annual tradition, colourful processions were organised in Girgaum and neighbouring Thane. The highlight of Girgaum's zealous marches was the women's bike rallies, showing the path to blend modernity with tradition.

Clad in 'nauvari' or nine-yard silk sarees, the participants, including housewives and working women, stole the show riding their 350 CC Royal Enfield Bullets. Dr Aparna Bandodkar had dressed up in an all-silver satin 'nauvari', while her bike was adorned with Shivlings, damroos (small drums) and a trishul (trident) as a mark of respect for Ahilyabai Holkar, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.

Born and brought up in Girgaum, the 39-year-old dental surgeon was fascinated by the pictures of women bikers published in the newspapers, encouraging her to join the rally with different themes every year. “When I bought my motorcycle 12 years ago, I decided to participate in the procession and this is my 11th rally. I choose a different theme every year to show my respect to the historic figures I see as a hero. Three years ago, I dressed up as Jhansi ki Rani. This year, I chose Ahilyabai Holkar. I think these women are the real epitome of women empowerment,” said Dr Bandodkar.

Watch The Vibrant Celebration Here:

Mother- In- Law And Daughter-In- Law Duo Steals The Show Riding Royal Enfields Together

Following in the footsteps of her mother-in-law, Swati Karnekar, a banking professional who recently got married, participated in the rally for the first time. She and her mother-in-law, Neha, 49, rode alongside, with their vehicles decorated on the theme ‘Ram Rajya-Shiva Rajya’. The latter, who has been joining the rally for two decades, recounted, “Around 20 years ago, I saw a woman participating in the bike rally, I was instantly impressed. Other women motivated me to take part in the procession, so I practised bike riding. Now our group rides as far as Alibaug.”

“Twenty years ago, when I saw a woman participating in the bike rally for the first time, I was instantly impressed. Other women motivated me to participate so I practised bike riding and joined the rally from its second year. Now our group of women bikers ride as far as Alibaug. Swati was inspired by this and she also decided to join the procession in her first year of marriage,” said Neha.

Sports Bike Enthusiast Embracing Tradition

Girgaum’s Gudi Padwa celebration is also the day for these women to express their love towards their bikes, be it a normal 100 cc bike, a Royal enfield or a sports bike. Shirin Shinde (28) comes from all the way from Kandivali only to participate in the rally with her sportsbike. With her fondness for sports bikes, Shirin rode a KTM Duke last year and this year she upgraded her bike to KTM Adventure 390.

“I love sports bikes and I love to dress up in our traditional attire as well. The Gudi Padwa procession gives me the perfect opportunity to spend time on my bike, that too in a traditional attire. The procession has now become a ritual for me, if someone says Gudi Padwa, for me it means Girgaum,” said Shinde.

From Engineer to Influencer, Gauri More, Embracing Girgaum's Bike Rally Tradition

Another young participant was Gauri More, 26, who has been joining the rally for the past three years. Previously working as an engineer, More has now turned into a full-time social media influencer. Even after shifting to Thane after marriage, she makes sure to attend the Girgaum procession on her Bullet. “Having spent several years in Girgaum, I have been watching other women ride in the procession. The bike rally gives a great feel to start the new year. Due to work pressure, I seldom get time to ride my bike but I feel blessed to be a part of the celebrations,” said More.

Meanwhile, lakhs of Maharashtrians celebrated Gudi Padva by hoisting the gudis outside their windows and exchanging sweets with relatives and friends.

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