Lord stays for one more day


Hyderabad: The police, the pandal organisers and even the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti may have planned that the festival will be celebrated for 10 days only, but Lord Ganesh seems to have decided that the city should host him on the 11th day as well.
And who would dare to go against Lord Vinayaka. The skies opened up lashing the city with heavy rains. This meant the immersion of Ganesh idols would continue on Thursday as well. The city recorded 40 mm of rainfall till 8.30pm on Wednesday and it was still pouring at about 10 pm. Less than 4,000 big idols were immersed in the Hussainsagar by 10 pm.

(Train Ganesh: A huge gathering witnessed the immersion of the “Train Ganesh” idols at NTR Marg on Wednesday. DC/Gandhi)
“Though we are trying to speed up the immersion process, it seems set to continue on Thursday as well,” city police commissioner Anurag Sharma said late on Wednesday night.
Office goers and schoolchildren should avoid roads around Hussainsagar, MJ Market, Liberty, Basheerbagh, NTR Marg, Upper Tank Bund and Ministers’ Road besides Himayatnagar where a long row of trucks with Ganesh idols are likely to create traffic congestion on Thursday morning.
Though the crowd was thinner in the morning on Wednesday, it swelled by the evening with large number of women joining the revellry.

(Rainy day: People hold plastic chairs over their heads to shield themselves from pouring rain on Wednesday. DC/R. Pavan Kumar)
Even the heavy rain that lashed the city between 5.30 pm and 7 pm failed to dampen the spirit of revelers.
However, the heavy rain exposed the bad condition of roads and poor work done by the GHMC to fix the roads as water stagnated on the main roads for more than an hour.
The water level in Hussainsagar, meanwhile, reached 513.30 metres as against its full tank level of 513.41 metres. The higher the level of water the better it is for idol immersion.
The GHMC engineer-in-chief said heavy rain resulted in water entering into the houses in three to four colonies near Toli Chowki.
Local residents of Fathima Colony called up this newspaper’s office and said that water had entered into their houses as well as the Fathima mosque.
Meanwhile, the mammoth 59-foot Khairatabad Ganesh idol started its march towards Hussainsagar after 9 pm as against its scheduled time of 6 pm. It is expected to be immersed on Thursday morning. Earlier in the day, the centralised procession started from Balapur in Ranga Reddy district after the auction of popular Balapur Ganesh laddu.
Women steal the limelight this time
This Ganesh immersion, the womenfolk stole the limelight. Unlike previous years, women came out in large numbers, danced energetically and actively participated in the processions.
From the distribution of prasadam to decorating the idols, the women did it all. Hundreds of women, dressed alike, with bands on their foreheads and carrying mini idols headed the processions.
The streets of Tank Bund came alive with a variety of dance styles — garba, dandiya and everything in between. Elaborately adorned Ganeshas in all sizes attracted the watching public, but it was the dancing women, young and old, that were the cynosure of all eyes.

(Tradition: Women were seen dancing and celebrating in traditional costumes while taking part in a procession. DC)
In old city, young women dressed in orange kurtas with colourful waistcoats danced till they dropped. Smithi Agarwal, a B.Tech graduate and resident of Hyderguda said, “For years it was only the men who played an important role during Ganpati Visarjan; women chose to remain in the vehicles or at home. But many of us wished to get evolved in the celebrations for Ganesha. This year, we formed a group and practised the garba and were excited to perform it on Tank Bund."
Tank Bund resounded to cries of Ganpati Bappa Morya! as children, youth and adult carried idols for immersion. Around 50 life guards, two at each crane were deployed on Tank Bund by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Fifteen divers were stationed in boats that did continuous rounds of the Hussainsagar. Six ambulances and one fire engine were stationed on Tank Bund.

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