THANE: For the last few days, C P Deekshit or guruji as he is fondly referred to as, is busy reorganising his itinerary by adjusting last minute requests from devotees who have invited him to perform the welcome ritual for Ganeshotsav on Thursday.
Thane-based Deekshit is one of the hundred who is very much in demand, not just in Thane and Mumbai, but also across the globe as several families still prefer to follow the traditional way of invoking and inviting the deity into their homes. With his schedule almost organised, Deekshit said that he will be performing nearly 12 poojas at various homes, which will begin as early as 3:30am on Thursday and end by night.
Several others like him claim that it has been getting difficult to cater to the increasing requests. The number of priests, traditionally from the Brahmin community, is less as compared to the rising demand.. Veterans claim that it is a huge task as appointments have been made from as early as three months ago and continue to pour in till the last minute.
“There are not many Brahmins available in urban areas and the demand is usually very high on this day. I have been flooded with several calls from families, but I my schedule is already choc-a-bloc. My father and younger brother who are also priests have equally busy schedules,” said Deekshit.
Meanwhile, the rising demand for priests is not just restricted to Thane, Mumbai and the suburbs, but also internationally wherein these pandits are often called to perform the traditional pooja. Prabhune Guruji is one of the pandits who will be travelling all the way to Dubai this season as he and his counterparts have been called in by some Maharashtrian families there to perform the puja on Ganeshotsav.
“We will be performing the Ganesh puja at some households in Dubai. Some of my friends will be travelling to Abu Dhabi for a community festival. The reverence of these non-resident Indians towards the festival and also their interest in performing all rituals in a traditional way is appreciable,” said Prabhune, who was busy scheduling the day-long festival itinerary with his contemporaries. Meanwhile, community veterans said it is a tough task at times to refuse hosts, especially as the schedules are cho-a-bloc. Some devotees also offer a pick-up and drop facility to and from the next venue for these pandits or also arranging sightseeing for those who willing to travel out of the city or abroad.
There are not many Brahmins available in urban areas and the demand is usually very high on this day. I have been flooded with several calls from families, but I my schedule is already choc-a-bloc. My father and younger brother who are also priests into this tradition also have equally busy schedules,” said Dikshit.
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