No Dandiya sticks, but only the spirit of Garba Raas -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

No Dandiya sticks, but only the spirit of Garba Raas

Karachi: It was a Gujarati Garba Raas song that brought the crowd to its feet at the Swami Narayan Mandir on Sunday. But with Dandiya sticks missing, the women who jumped to their feet when song began had to do with clapping each other’s hands.

But soon the popular Gujrati score turned into an endless medley of many a famous Bollywood song that waltzed through the open space, casting its spell on everybody within its range.

The festival of Bahuchara Mata, the goddess famous for carrying a sword, is organised by the Swami Narayan Mandir committee every year. But this time around, it was one person. Ashok Kumar, the editor of a daily called Minority Families, took it upon himself to stage the event.

“I did it because Mata granted me a wish I had made last year,” he said. Although he did not want to elaborate on the wish he was granted.

“It’s one of those occasions on which we dance to our heart’s content and lose our souls in prayers,” said Abhishek, one of the estimated thousand people at the grand festival that lasted for five hours at the temple near MA Jinnah Road.

“You celebrate the holy day and pray for your country and your family,” said Darpan Othomal, who had arrived at the festival from Drigh Colony. Outside the temple, the coaches that had brought the families waited.

“Given the law and order situation in the city, members of the Hindu community do not get to meet that often these days, but such grand occasions make it possible,” said Ali Maharaj, a pundit at a Hindu temple near the airport who had arrived at the festival with his family.

Dignitaries from the Hindu Panchayat were also present there and renowned philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi presided over the event.

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