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Dancing descent

When the invitation by five mandals was cancelled in one go Satyajit Shinde prepared himself for the swine flu effect on Shiv Garjana,his dhol-taasha group that has been playing for different mandals across the city for 10 years.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE |
August 30, 2009 2:54:04 am

The dhol-taasha brigades face a fluctuating situation,with a booming first day business and a lull thereafter. They are now pinning their hopes on the visarjan

When the invitation by five mandals was cancelled in one go Satyajit Shinde prepared himself for the swine flu effect on Shiv Garjana,his dhol-taasha group that has been playing for different mandals across the city for 10 years. The first day when the group played for 150 mandals they thanked the Lord and braced themselves for the good. But with Reeda Shaikh’s school mate’s death the fear hit again and so did the number of cancellations. They did hit a high in between the third and the seventh day. But as invitations start pouring in for anant chaturdeshi the cymbals jingle and the dhols roar once again.

Compared to last year’s three invitations this year’s four make Shiv Garjana score an extra Mandal this year despite the flu scare. “Guruji Talim,Sahyadri Mitra Mandal,Azad Hind and Mandai are the four mandals we will be playing for this visarjan. This year many refrain from crowded atmosphere due to obvious reasons. On the first day of Ganapati,the flu scare was less because deaths came to a halt but the moment two more deaths were reported the scare gripped the people again,” Shinde says.

The much-loved girls’ dhol brigade of JPP too agrees to the fluctuating status of dhol taasha groups. While many sections have experienced losses during Ganeshotsav our section hasn’t because we are an inextricable part of processions. Like Ganapati idol sales remained intact despite the scare,so is our business,” says secretary of the JPP youth wing.

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Even though the ones who have put down their pandals and decorations need the groups for rituals at the temples. “We are needed to complete the ceremony. To add flavour and devotion to the ceremony so despite the cutting down of mandals we will be invited for the proper completion of ceremony,” Nikhil Gore,procession manager,Jana Prabodhini.

And though the Kasba Ganpati decided on Saturday to tone down the visarjan procession,it has not dampened the enthusiasm of these groups.“Every year Kasba Ganpati has minimum 12 dhol tasha groups playing at the procession. But this time apart from Kasba Ganpati the others surprisingly have not given in to the swine flu scare. We are still flooded with invitations to play at the procession and we are hoping that they continue to pour in,” smiles Shinde

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First published on: 30-08-2009 at 02:54:04 am

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