With rain playing spoilsport this Navratri, indoor spaces are becoming popular among Mumbaikars to maintain the festivities.
Mumbaikars are all geared up to welcome Navratri in their best colourful attire and their garba and dandiya music at the ready. However, a recent rainy weather forecast has left many garba enthusiasts low-spirited and worried about the possibility of rains spoiling their nights out.
Festival organisers have taken this into account and are determined to ensure the festive season isn’t weighed down. While mandals in open spaces are opting for wooden platforms to ensure that the visitors don’t step on mud or slip, indoor venues are also increasing in popularity.
“Indoor Navratri events are nowadays picking up, since the venue is fully air-conditioned and there is no fear of rain,” says Sahil Shah, the founder of Garbaraas organised at The Lalit's indoor venue. Anupama Bhalla, the Vice President of NESCO, agrees that indoor venues are a plus point for the organisers. “The weather in the city is very humid, and during Navratri the rain does come down on you. So having an indoor space for celebration is a good idea for both the parties,” says Anupama, who also insists that indoor spaces receive huge crowds since the venues are air-conditioned and have parking facilities.
Furthermore, indoor venues provide a space of between 10,000 sq feet to 55,000 sq meters in size with exotic décor, wired audio-visual technology, and can accommodate a moving crowd of 1200 to 1400. And according to the organisers, these venues are also best for those who want to play garba even after the 10 pm noise deadline for Navratri. “On the open grounds, people can play only till 10 pm, and at the indoor venue, we have the advantage to play until the wee hours of the night. These long and late-night flexible hours give an advantage to all,” reveals Sahil, and Anpama adds, “Obviously the biggest advantage is that you can play till midnight. Even if you reach at nine after finishing your work, you can play till 12, otherwise, on open ground, you just get one hour.”
Although the festival is traditionally celebrated in open grounds, and many people might feel apprehensive about indoor spaces, Goregaon resident Kushal Mehta and his wife Kruti reveal that these places are more composed and bring you more festive vibes. “It is the same feeling. One of the biggest reasons indoor spaces work is that you have good ambience, and then they have limited capacity, so you can expect a decent crowd. Outdoor venues keep on filling people, which is chaotic,” says Kushal, who chose indoor garba over outdoors for its ambience and safety.
Apart from celebrating the festival with no interruption, indoor venues are ideal for those wanting to try Gujarati cuisine post-midnight. For those planning to celebrate the festival with kids, they have the option of a kids area, valet parking and massage areas for tired legs. “We ensure a far better experience for the people who come to celebrate the festival. With in-house security and parking, indoor venues provide a good deal for the garba enthusiasts,” says Anupama. Kushal agrees, adding that it is a win-win situation.