The last day of the festival is Anant Chaturdashi. Thousands of the idols of Lord Ganesha are now brought out from peoples’ homes and the utsavs and after a long processional march, immersed into the sea thus bidding farewell to the God fondly revered as “Ganpati Bappa”.
Millions shaded in colours of pink and yellow throng the streets of Mumbai in one massive procession that leads to the local beaches of Girgaum, Dadar & Juhu and called chowpatty in local parlance. It’s one of the greatest street parties on the planet. The city’s disjointed landscape echoes with the sounds of all kinds of musical instruments. “Ganpati Bappa Morya Pudhchya Varshi Laukar Ya” (My beloved Lord Ganpati, come back soon next year), is the chant one hears in every street corner.
The ritual of immersion, ‘visarjan’, lasts the entire day and the next morning. Millions gather on the streets to sing and dance and celebrate the divinity of the Supreme Being. The famous idols of Ganesha can be seen becoming one with the ocean with much fanfare. The massive crowds, the larger than life idols and the fanfare…it all makes for an extremely unbelievable setting. The spectacle is scintillating, the mood contagious one is awestruck by the scale of the festival. The grandeur and excitement of Ganpati Visarjan is simply overwhelming.Something that cannot be described but only felt when you are there yourself are in the midst.
Eventually, the families can be seen returning home post the immersion ceremony. You will notice a general sense of calm on the faces of the thousands who travel back to their distant suburbs via the local trains. For today is that one day when this non-stop city literally’ takes the day off!