HYDERABAD: A sea of people gathered at PVNR Marg to witness the immersion of the Khairatabad Ganesh idol on Thursday. Amidst the boisterous annual jamboree were a kaleidoscope of characters — a fortune-teller looking expectantly at passersby as his parrot nibbled at a guava, vendors selling a variety of snacks, ice creams to jewellery, tattoo artists, young mime artists — who took over the stretch and Tank Bund.
Braving the harsh afternoon sun, everybody’s eyes were fixed on the iconic Hussainsagar as the 63-feet Khairatabad Ganesh idol hanged by a crane in the air. The entire stretch was occupied with people, with some even precariously perched on foot-overbridges.
“Ganesh Chaturthi is always a busy time for us. I have been on duty since 6 am,” said a police officer as he quickly ate a plate of kachori. Before he could say his name, he rushed to a group of youngsters who were trying to climb the overbridge.
As the clay idol met the water at 1.30 pm, the gathering broke into cheers. The crowd disintegrated with the idol but the day was far from over. Men and women of all ages, made their way from one vendor to another. In an attempt to dodge the searing heat and to tame their little ones, most of them headed for ice creams or kulfis.
In between the hustle and bustle of business activities, there were scenes of people struggling to make a few bucks. A young mime artist stood patiently as a man applied metallic paint all over his body. Clad in a dhoti and with a walking stick, he was gearing up to join the many Mahatmas in search of money on the street.
As the crowd moved, a trail of plastic and paper was left behind and the vehicles that came laden with Ganesh idols of all sizes trudged back empty signalling the conclusion of 10 days of fun-filled festivities.
BGUS’ Shankar Agarwal said, “Every year, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. We will keep improving. Ganesh Maharaj ki jai!”