Why “Woke” Mumbai Needs to Stop Whining about Ganpati Visarjan

Social Commentary

Why “Woke” Mumbai Needs to Stop Whining about Ganpati Visarjan

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


wo days before this year’s Ganpati festivities commenced in Mumbai and a bunch of fish made a run for it, a friend confided in me that he would spend the next 10 days locked in his house, surviving only on Maggi and the fresh air that comes out of his freezer. Turning up the volume on his speaker so he could more clearly listen to the mumble rap song playing in the background, he said he was afraid what 10 days of “annoying” noise and incessant traffic was going to do to his system. Should he just leave the city, he wondered.

Now this, I find quite pretentious because I think it would have been quite natural for the same guy to not notice a giant crowd gathering to gang up on a biker who cut a lane, or a huge group of people trying to avoid a footover bridge that has been commandeered by a rap crew. This is the same guy who’d tag his friends in a video of the La Tomatina festival and say, “Guys, this is us in 2020”. But somehow the sight of fellow Mumbaikars actually celebrating and dancing out on the streets, elicits this sort of gag response: “Why. Are. They. Doing. That. Here?”