Pune: As each festival has its own special way of giving a sweet treat, Gudhi Padwa, which marks the beginning of the new year for Maharashtrians, is incomplete without the traditional ‘gathi’ - sugar garlands. Gudhi Padwa will be celebrated on Sunday.
A Sakal Times reporter went to the Mahatma Phule Mandai area to check the market for the essentials required in Gudhi Padwa. One glance at the busy market area and one finds the bunches of white and some colourful gathis adorn the streets.
“Gathi making is a beautiful art that needs a lot of patience and care. Makers who come to the city from Ahmednagar and surrounding places are doing this art for a generation. Their assets 80 to 90 years old mould are the most important items to make the gathis.
Thus, the designs on the gathis have never changed. Moreover, people are interestingly taking up as a small-scale and a seasonal occupation the making of gathis,” said Yuvraj Gadwe of Kaka Halwai.
Ramchandra Baregar, a shopkeeper in Mandai area, said preparations of the gathis start a week before Gudhi Padwa, as preserving the items for a long time will attract insects. The gathis weigh 50 gms to 5 kg with price ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 2,000 respectively. Some of the huge gathis are booked two or three months before Gudhi Padwa.
Amar Agarwal, owner of Agarwal Sweets, is known for variants of coloured and designed gathis. The gathis are designed with raisins, black raisins, almonds, cashews and other dry fruits.
“This concept was a huge hit in the previous year so we decided to continue it this year also. The gathis can be designed with variety of things like sparkles, mirrors, colours and more. But I prefer to use natural ingredients as mostly children love to eat gathis.”