Aside from mandals which regularly install idols this time of year, a clutch of mainstream mandals which could not organise Bhadrapad Ganeshotsav 2020 amid the Covid-19 lockdown are also planning short celebrations.
“The number of households and mandals who will celebrate Maghi will rise this year as they seek to make up for the cancellation of Ganeshotsav last August-September,” said Naresh Dahibawkar, chairman of the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti.
As with previous festivals like Christmas, the guidelines from the state government arrived as late as February 9, by which time the mandals had already made their plans.
Ganesh Jayanti or Maghi sees idols installed for a duration of one to ten days, much like regular Ganeshotsav.
Since the lockdown restrictions were imposed last year, Reshma Khatu’s idol sculpting workshop has adapted to the new normal by crafting smaller moortis rather than the gigantic 15-25 ft ones that are commonly commissioned.
“The Dombivali Cha Icchapurti mandal which installed a 22 ft moorti last year will host a midget 4 ft idol this season in keeping with the state’s Covid-19 guidelines,” she said.
The GSB mandal of Ram Mandir, Wadala, that had rescheduled last year’s festivities to Maghi 2021 will keep a small idol for just one day February 15.
Treasurer Ulhas Kamat said, “We will observe all Covid-19 restrictions. No prasad will be distributed. Visarjan will be held in our premises only.”
Mukund Kamat, chairman of the temple trust and secretary of its Ganeshotsav Samiti said, “Our idol is merely 18 inches tall. The utsav will be low key and in limited form keeping in view the current pandemic situation and statutory compliances. All pujas will be streamed online. We will perform the “pratishtha” ritual followed by ‘ganahoma’ on behalf of all devotees. After noon and evening pujas, visarjan will be held the same evening. There will be no public darshan and we are not booking any kind of pujas, havan or annadana seva. As per state government instructions, there will be no prasad distribution.”