Navratri is a festival of lights, happiness, unity, and divinity. The prosperity can be felt all over the country but this prosperity and celebration doesn’t stop at the borders only but goes all the way to Karachi, Pakistan.
Shardiya Navaratri is observed in the month of Ashvin, which typically falls in September or October. The festival celebrates the victory of Maa Durga over demon Mahishasur. The nine-day festival culminates with Dussehra.
Narayanpura is the home to minorities be it Sikh, Hindu, or Christians. There are six temples, one gurdwara, and two churches in this area.
Interestingly, Most of the members of the Hindu community are Gujarati speakers. “We fast for nine days, we come here and pray every evening. It is a beautiful festival. We are having a lot of fun,” said one of the ladies partaking in the festivities.
“We thank the administration for facilitating the event,” said another Hindu man.
However, nobody talked about the insecurities and threats they face while from the radical fundamentalists in Pakistan. It seems like the festival of Navratri has brought away all the fears and insecurities. the joy among men and women dancing to the tunes of dandiya music, the fun and frolic, normalizes the whole scenario.
The main prayers take place at Jogmaya Mandir, which is one of the first temples in Narayanpura.
“We celebrate nine days of Navratri festival. The streets, lanes are lit and on the tenth day we all celebrate Dussehra with a lot of fanfare,” said a young man.
Notably, The neighborhood was established in 1824 by an activist named Narayandas. It came under attack after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 in Ayodhya.
On the tenth day, the entire community will come together and carry out a procession in the evening to Native Jetty bridge. They also visit the Lakshminarayan temple which is situated under the bridge before heading to the seashore and then they immerse the idols into the sea.
However, in the old days, this whole procession used to take place on foot but now for convenience and security, it goes in car and buses.