Navi Mumbai: The 10-day Navratri festival in Navi Mumbai featured numerous Garba and Dandiya nights. There was a noticeable increase in the number of mandals hosting Dandiya events in the evenings, which, in turn, left many Dandiya venues with fewer visitors.
After enduring two to three years of Covid restrictions, people celebrated this year's festival without fear, and every nook and corner of the city saw Dandiya and Garba events taking place. In areas like Ulwe, there were approximately 35 Dandiya and Garba venues, including five to six large venues capable of accommodating around 2000 people simultaneously.
Housing societies conduct their own Dandiya programmes
Besides public Dandiya venues, housing societies also organized their own Dandiya programs, leading to a lower turnout of visitors at each public Dandiya event. In Seawoods, Bharata Jadhav, a former corporator from the BJP and the founder of Sairaj Pratisthan, hosted a 10-day Garba and Dandiya event with prizes worth lakhs. Jadhav held this grand event in a spacious ground. In the same area, other politicians like Sameer Bagwan also organized Garba and Dandiya events.
Even in Kharghar, there were over 50 Garba and Dandiya venues, ranging from small to large. Civic activist Rajeev Mishra pointed out that the interest in hosting Garba and Dandiya events had surged compared to the pre-Covid period, primarily because of the upcoming elections. "The local body election and parliament election are due, and politicians wanted to use the platform to connect with voters," said Mishra.
Traditional dandiya celebration
Most organizers arranged live musical performances for Dandiya. At many venues, in line with the latest fashion trends, dancers donned denim jackets adorned with beautiful designer patchwork and accessorized with multi-colored hair accessories and threads for all nine nights. While some opted for a more elaborate look, both men and women were seen sporting dresses and jeans with Cowdie work.
Pramila Patil, a resident of Nerul, mentioned that she visited three venues, and by 9 pm, there were hardly any people. "As I cannot play Dandiya late into the night, I couldn't find a partner for the evening," she lamented.
Dandiya venue in public | FPJ