One of the biggest societies in Maharashtra, Rustomjee Azziano (E-K), with its seven towers and 1480 units, has come up with a unique theme of unity in diversity for this year's Ganesh festival. Sushil Jade, an architect and artist from the society, led a team of in-house talents to make the Ganesh festival a grand success. The festival was being conducted after two years owing to the pandemic.
A Ganpati mandal committee formed this year, headed by chairman Siddhesh Salunkhe, secretary Sanjay Tawde and treasurer Santosh Hindlekar, worked hard with their team to bring all the members of the society together.
Chirman Salunkhe said, "Most of the members took possession in 2018 and started the Ganpati festival. The society grew after new wings were developed. After two years of muted celebration due to Covid-19, members from all the seven wings came together to form our Ganesh Mandals which is in the process of registration. We have come up with a replica of our seven towers and the facilities that we have in our club houses. We have used all eco-friendly decorative material and haven't used plastic at all. Our Ganesh idol is also eco-friendly. With unity in diversity as our theme our replicas have been made creatively. The towers have been named after Ganpati like E for Ekdant, F for FunishPutra, G for Gauri Nandan, H for Heramb, E for Eshan, J for JyeshthManormaya and K for Kripalu, names that we have taken from 1008 names of Ganpati."
"All the wings are interconnected with each signifying that we are there for each other at all times, good or bad. We completed the decorations in 20-25 days with in-house talent. We have used real plants for decoration. We have depicted swimming-pool and other facilities available in our societies. People from all age groups from as young as three to senior citizens as old as 73 participated. For Visarjan we have organised Lezim and also created an artificial pond in our society itself."
"The stage decoration, for which we used branches, wood and natural products, took one week. I enjoyed the creation," said Payal Jain, a young mother who was the driving force behind the replicas.
Anant Hindelkar, a 73-year-old member of the society said, "I took up the responsibility for arranging all that was needed for the Bhajan. From Thane I travelled as far as Virar, Ulhasnagar and Lalbaug for it. Age is not a deterrent because the love for celebrating the Ganesh festival keeps me going."
Another resident Sushil Jade said, "Azziano has residents from various religions and communities. We all enjoy each other’s festivals and events. The theme for the Ganeshotsav- 22 decoration is ‘seven colours of rainbow’, a symbolic representation of seven wings of the Azziano Society. We pray to Bappa to always bless us with unity. We enjoyed the process of making everything on our own and spending time together.”
“This Ganpati Festival has been a collaborative initiative of the residents, right from designing the stage and decorations, rehearsals for in-house performances and other activities. Young and old have come together to make it a memorable,” said Indrnil Choudhury, Secretary, Rustomjee Azziano CHSL.
"The society will be organising cultural activities like dance, singing, wireless and fireless cooking competition, drawing and painting competition for people of all ages groups. We will be also be felicitating members of our society who are in the armed forces, doctors and frontline warriors during the Covid-19 who contributed tirelessly to keep us safe. Mumbai ex-Mayor Kishori Pednekar is likely to felicitate them."