In its 59th year, the Madhyavibhag Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal in Sewri has decided to be innovative. This year, it will create a life-sized Shiva Lingam at the Prabodhankar Thakre Gardens for Ganesh Chaturthi and host a projection show that will display pictures of gods and goddesses against a background score of mantras.
Set designer Kishore Mankar said that the mandal has always been innovating with mandal set-ups, and this year is no different. “The idea was drawn from the Nehru Planetarium, but we have given it a twist. We will have a huge kalash (pot) over the Shivling, constantly pouring water on it. It will form a 12-foot waterfall on the other end. This water will then be pumped into the kalash again so that there’s no unnecessary wastage of water,” said Mankar.
The group has also flown in four Rajasthani artists who worked on murals within the structure that depict Lord Shiva, the goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesh. “The idea is to pay homage to the love between Lord Shiva and Parvati and their offspring, Lord Ganesha. The work has been in progress for nearly two months but we hope that everything will be done by the first week of September,” said Mankar.
The structure has cost over Rs 5 lakh to erect, and over 20 workers have been involved in construction. Mandal president Vijay Indulkar said, “We always promote social themes, and we thought we’d innovate this year too. Two years ago, we had the Mumbai-Shanghai project theme. The idea is to spread a message along with providing worshippers a place to pay their respects.”