The After-effect.

Most of the major Indian festivals are observed in our co-op housing society. So on this March 1st the festival of ‘Holi’ was celebrated by lighting a Holi / bon fire in society garden.

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(This was clicked from the balcony, so Neem tree branches are criss-crossing across the Holi fire).

The flames leaped very high and everyone religiously enjoyed the occasion. A week after the festival, the Neem twigs and leaves began to wilt and die at places.

Actually, the damage was much more extensive during the previous years, almost half the foliage had turned brown. We have quite a sizable garden and the fire is always lit in the center, as far away as possible from the surrounding trees. And yet, the heat of the high flames dries up the green leaves.

Then what is the solution? We definitely should follow our customs and festivals; and at the same time we have to protect our greenery, too. So, while keeping our traditions alive, are we hurting our environment?

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Festive Preparations.

Mumbai city is gearing up to welcome her favourite deity Ganesha (the Elephant God) and the festival of the year Ganeshotsav (Festival of Lord Ganesha)

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An artist is giving final touches to the Ganesha idol

This year the festival starts on 25th of August and would continue for the next ten days. Diwali is considered as the biggest festival of the year. However, Diwali is more of a family festival and is celebrated with family and friends. Whereas, festival of Lord Ganesha is a public celebration which brings all the Mumbaikars out on the roads to enjoy the processions and visit various Ganesha Pandals. In addition, many families also celebrate this festival at home; they install Ganesha idols at home and worship it.

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Eco-friendly small Ganesha idols waiting to be taken home for worshipping.

Earlier this was only a family festival and was celebrated at home. During India’s freedom struggle, a great leader, Lokamanya Tilak initiated public celebrations with the view of bringing people together and awaken an awareness among the people. Since then it is celebrated in all the cities of Maharashtra with a number of pandals erected in nook and corners of the cities. Each pandal is decorated with different themes. All through the festival days various entertainment as well as informative programmes are arranged. On tenth day the idols are immersed in water with great fanfare.

So it is great ten days of fun and frolic.