Pune Ganesh Visarjan: Dhol-tashas fall silent this year amid pandemic

Akshay Badwe
Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Every year, all the corners of the city including some major roads such as Laxmi Road, Tilak Road, Karve Road to name a few witnesses the dhol pathaks performing their play on the last day of the 10-day festival.

Pune: The sound on the Ganesh Visarjan is missing. Hundreds of dhol which create an enchanting sound will be missing this year. The annual Ganesh Visarjan is here with city bids adieu to the beloved Bappa. However, the visarjan will be celebrated differently in the wake of COVID-19. 

The procession held on the Visarjan day will be without the reverberating sounds of drums and cymbals (dhol and tashas). Every year, all the corners of the city including some major roads such as Laxmi Road, Tilak Road, Karve Road to name a few witnesses the dhol pathaks performing their play on the last day of the 10-day festival.

But amid the COVID crisis, there will be no public celebration of the Ganpati Visarjan. There are approximately 170 pathaks with 25,000 members in Pune district and nearly 500 pathaks.

Parag Thakur, President of Dhol Tasha Mahasangh said, "Every year, the Visarjan of the beloved Bappa is marked by the reverberation of the dhol and tasha in Pune. But due to the novel coronavirus, there is no celebration. So, a number of dhol-tasha pathaks this year volunteered for social activities like blood donation drives, food donation and service at prominent mandals."

"It saddens not only the devotees but the members of the pathak that they are unable to play. There is melancholy among the groups of all dhol pathaks as they will not be able to play today," he added.

Ashutosh Gaikwad who play the drums in Gandhar Pathak said, "It is unfortunate that the coronavirus crisis has changed things across the nation. Every year, the final day of Visarjan is the most awaited days in the 10-day festival. All performers are super excited on this day as we perform in front of thousands of people and the scenes are mesmerising. This year, we are not able to play the drums and it is a major missing."

"Vibrant colours, exuberant dancing, dhol tasha and traditional visarjan is missing. Let's pray together that the virus flattens its curve and next year the celebrations will be in a huge grandeur like always," he added.

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