For Shridhar Jadhav, yesterday was the saddest moment of his life as he was the one responsible for the floral decorations on the stage where Bal Thackeray’s body was kept at Shivaji Park, his final resting place.
A Shiv Sainik for the last 32 years of his life, Jadhav has been responsible for the floral decorations for many Dussehra rallies that the Sena has organised at Shivaji Park. So, it came as no surprise that Jadhav had been bestowed the honour of decorating Thackeray’s final stage too. At 7 pm, Jadhav was handed the duty and with the help of 600 workers he was able to finish the daunting task by 3 am.
Remembering that Thackeray was very fond of the chafa flower (plumeria), Jadhav used more than 25,000 of the flower to honour his leader. In addition to chafa, hundreds of kilograms of marigolds were used. Speaking to MiD DAY, Jadhav said that about 1,500 tonnes of flowers were used to decorate the stage and the flowers had been bought from Dadar’s Flower Market Association.
“It is a great loss to us as we have lost our hero and we would do anything for him. I had very little time to prepare but I managed to finish by 3 am in the night.”
In addition to the flowers, the site for the cremation also used 475 kg of wood for the pyre, out of which 175 kg was sandalwood. Also, 60 kg of ghee was used during Thackeray’s last rites.
25,000 Number of chafa flowers (plumeria) used in the floral decoration
175kg Quantity of sandalwood used
60kg Quantity of ghee used for rites
His final carriage
Two trucks decorated with flowers were used to transport the Sena supremo’s body to Shivaji Park from his residence in Bandra. Bal Malkit Singh, president of All India Motor Transport Association, said, “Two multi-axle vehicles were decorated with flowers. One was 40 feet and the other was 20 feet.”