Today, as Mumbai welcomes the Elephant-headed Lord into the city, the streets, naturally enough, are clogged with revellers and worshippers. The city’s best-loved deity has come to town and as always, is getting a rousing welcome. While Ganeshji’s journey to and stay in the city is all about happiness, worship, warmth and festivity, let us celebrate with caution. At mandals, especially, very popular mandals, people need to queue up with discipline and keep in mind the other persons. So many old, infirm people turn up at big mandals in order to pay their respects to Ganpati.
Let us move forward even as we keep the elderly in mind, and ensure that the experience is a respectful and orderly one. Also, keep in mind that there are several small children that are brought in with adults to the mandals. It would also be a good idea to pay special attention to traffic rules in these crowded times. With idols coming into the city on carts, cars, lorries or vans, streets are chock-a-block with worshippers, pedestrians, hawkers and of course, regular commuters who may be going to work.
The traffic police, who do such a fabulous job during this festival during the Chaturthi and Visarjan days are especially hard-pressed. They could be helped by disciplined drivers who don’t give in to road rageand are calm, cool and collected in these trying times. Accident, injury and - in worst-case scenarios, death - certainly robs a celebration of its fun, festive fervour and flavour. Safety first, should be the city’s credo during these 10 days. Even Ganeshji endorses this.