As the city gets ready to mark nine nights of dandiya and garba grooving from tomorrow, let’s try to make this festive season truly joyous for everyone, and not just for the revellers who click sticks.
The nine nights must be marked with a sense of responsibility and consideration for others. First, of course, is the need to adhere to dandiya deadlines. This goes for mandals which may try to push the envelope and prolong the revelry. One has to respect the fact that there are patients in hospitals, there are the elderly and the infirm in residential areas, little children who are disturbed by the noise blaring from loudspeakers.
There is a relaxation of the dandiya deadline on weekends, so one can dance late into the night then, but otherwise, let us shut off the music and dim the lights when told to.
Dandiya revellers must also refrain from rash driving after a night of merriment. Bikers racing down roads and youngsters chasing each other down in their vehicles — while all this is done in the spirit of fun, it is wise to remember that these fleeting thrills may turn into a lifetime of regret. Riding on the hi-octane energy of the moment is tempting, but temper that rush and drive home with caution and a watchful eye for both motorists and pedestrians on the road.
Every festival draws throngs of people and, with that, the challenge of managing the crowd. It is time for Mumbai to win its reputation back as one of the safest cities for women — a reputation that has been severely dented, thanks to recent incidents where women have been molested. Everyone should feel secure enough to enjoy themselves in the crowd and make their way home safely, be it by bus, train or cabs.
Let us keep this in mind as we celebrate these nine bright nights, which will, of course, culminate with with the triumph of good over evil.
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