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Chhath Puja turns into low-key affair

While the city sprung back to life on Monday the impact of Bal Thackeray’s death still lingered in the air. Chhath Puja was observed yesterday as previously scheduled, at locations like Juhu and Dadar Chowpatty. However, as a gesture of respect, the celebrations were revised and toned down. While shops remained closed over the weekend after the announcement of Thackeray's death, they were open yesterday, allowing people to buy provisions for the puja.


For the Sun god: Devotees offer prayers to the setting sun on the occasion of Chhath Puja, which was was observed yesterday. PIC/AFP

Sanjay Nirupam, Congress MP, said, “This year, the celebration of Chhath Puja will be mild. We had originally arranged for Sonu Nigam to perform, but had to cancel. As the whole city is in grief due to the death of Balasaheb Thackeray, we will not celebrate the Chhath Puja in a grand way as we respect him. We will pray that his soul may rest in peace.”

Mohan Misra, president of Chhath Utsav Mahasangh, said, “Out of respect for Balasaheb, we shut the shops for two days. We had arranged the water and food for the people coming for the puja. Anticipating a bandh on Monday, around 20-25% of the crowd was not expected to turn up at Juhu.”

Rakesh Diwakar, vice president Versova BJP, said, “We will make the stage preparation at night time, as setting up the stage was not possible in the daytime due to the death of Bal Thackeray and his funeral.”

Indrasen Singh, Zilla vice president, Versova, said, “Like every year, Chhath Puja will also be celebrated in the city this time. Lakhs of people have come into the city for the celebration, like they have for previous celebrations of the festival. Since there was no bandh on Monday, people were able to come from faraway places like Vasai and Virar also.”

>> 18 killed in stampede during Chhath puja in Bihar, Nation 12

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