As the nine day Navratri Celebration progresses, the ‘garba’ frenzy in Udaipur increases and reached its crescendo on Navmi.
On Navratri Sthapna, the first day of the festival, in the centre of a pandal two earthen pots were installed with holes around which the ‘garba’ dancers move. Now those pots have been replaced by idols of Goddesses. Young and old, men, women and children take part in the dance with great gusto.
The garba dance form which originated in Gujarat was brought to Udaipur by some communities like Nagars, Bhattmewaras and Mochis when they migrated to this place.
These groups are still trying to preserve the original traditional form of garba festival. Later on, several changes were introduced like the use of microphones and cassettes. The celebration which used to have members of the community only as the participants is now open to all members who wish to join garba at a particular place.
UT (UdaipurTimes.com) decided to get the comments of different sections of Udaipurites on the garba in its modern forms. Anita Vyas told us, “Though now-a-days we have to spend a lot on new dresses every year and on membership fee we wait for this season when we can go and enjoy ourselves.”
For young Aditya it is a good occasion to give rent to the pent up energy of the youth. On the other hand, college student Sushmita feels that she cannot afford to give her 3 hours per day for a period of nine days listening to loud music as every hour is precious for her studies. Moreover, her parents and sick grandmother cannot rest. She feels that at least the volume should be kept as low as possible.
Elderly Ratanlal told us, “To me it seems that the element of worship is missing to a great extent as many dances are accompanied with film songs and at some places they even play housie.”
Report by Ashok Mathur