It’s that time of the year when the city is reveling in the preparations for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Move around the city and you will see pandals sprung up at every nook and corner of the city.
Ladders held in place, the streets are being decked up with lights. Markets are abuzz with some preliminary shopping happening. The busiest of them all are the Murtikaars or the idol-makers. Both small and big idols are getting ready for the installation on 13th. A look at Vikram Patil’s workshop at Angol (Late Shri J.J. Patil’s son) and you see frantic activity taking place.
You would definitely smile when you see many Ganesh idols with a steel net basket hung around their arms and necks laden with coals, just to dry the wet idols, thanks to incessant rains this year. Vikram is excited about the idols that are leaving to Andhra Pradesh and Ichalkaranji. They are all clad in huge plastic sheets to safeguard from rains. Some are so tall, you have to strain your neck to have a look. Ask him about the height limit and he is quick to respond that the Mandals insist on having tall idols. Vikram holds some strikingly beautiful sketches which he has, based on which he creates these idols. He is trained at Bharati Vidyapeeth Pune and also at JJ School of Arts in sculpture. His workshop is frequented by young men, kids and enthusiasts gathered to have a look.
The same scene replays at Bharat Kumbhar’s workshop near Nartaki theatre. His assistants are busy giving final touches and painting is underway. Bharat’s workshop is full of clay Ganesha idols which are in much demand this year. Much enthusiasm engulfs the city and it’s just a matter of a few days before the Lord pays his visit.