Trance music for Ganapati


Celebs grooved with the local lads as trance music levelled out differences



Photographer: Atul Kamble

At 6:30 pm outside the Mahalaxmi Compound, shouts went up as a Ganpati procession kicked off. Normal fare for visarjan day? Not quite. This event was hipper. With 40,000 watts of underground music bursting from 12 JBL Speakers, DJs Asad and Whosane churned out trance and house, weaved with Sanskrit Ganesha shlokas. The procession consisted of a 40 foot trailer that housed the DJs, volunteers, the media and celebrities; a truck holding the idol; and a crowd of people from the Mahalaxmi Temple Area. It went past Haji Ali to Hinduja House, the visarjan point. The celebrities included filmmaker Shaad Ali, Suchitra Pillai and models Sheetal Malhar and Diandra Soares. A green laser was beamed at the crowd; fire-eaters and some jugglers added to the tamasha. The number of people dancing on the road easily exceeded three hundred when the procession started and soon increased to over a thousand. The Dance Ganesh, which is what this event is called, was started in 1999. “DJs Asad and Whosane originally just came and played this music where the Ganapati was located,” says Girish Cheda , the organiser for Mahalaxmi Bal Sangh, said, “But the people enjoyed themselves so much that we decided to let this music lead our procession.” But does this use of contemporary music take away from tradition? “There are no short cuts taken where the rituals are concerned,” mentioned Suchitra Pillai. “It was okay when Madonna incorporated religion into pop. Why can’t we do the same with trance and house,” added Whosane. “The essence of this festival is celebration and this music provides for that,” Diandra commented. This said, some onlookers did object to the people on the trailer smoking cigarettes unabashedly on a Ganapati visarjan march.

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This article was originally published in Mumbai Mirror, Times Of India:


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