FESTIVE FERVOUR – Havan, devotional songs to mark Navratra end

FESTIVE FERVOUR – Havan, devotional songs to mark Navratra end
The aroma of holy smoke emanating from Navratra havan will fill the air on Thursday . Households, temples and pandals all organize fire sacrifice at ashtami or navami, and this season, these dates overlap on the almanac.Navami spills over on to Dussehra on October 3.In Dahisar, the Gokul building celebration of the GSB community will perform 100 different pujas this day . “Ours is a 43-year-old Karnataka-style mandal, so we celebrate Sharadotsav,“ says spokesman, Prof Pradeep Pai. “Each day we offer the pushp puja, rang puja, ratri puja, alankar seva and several other ceremonies. Interestingly , we have a few Christian devotees like Mary Fernandes who sees Goddess Vailankanni in our Devi. One Muslim family also came some years ago.“

Clubs and housing societies are hosting the `Mata ki Chowki’ at night where vast numbers of people gather to sing the `mata ki bhent’. Of late, a unique Shiva `tandav’ is also being drafted into the Navratri calendar in Andheri’s Lokhandwala Complex.

The hilltop temple of Vaishnodevi in Malad will organize a havan from 4 to 7pm followed by the Mata ki Chowki. “We host a full calendar of events during Chaitra Navratra as well as Sharadiya Navratra,” says chairman Kiritbhai Shah. “On the morning of October 3, around 1,100 little girls below the age of 11 will arrive for the ‘kanya puja’ ceremony where they are worshipped like the Goddess.” The temple trust takes its commitment to the girl child beyond lip service by warning people of the dangers of female infanticide all year round.