Punekars welcome walk of faith

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By Mayuresh Bhardwaj and Husein Chunawala

Pune, 29th June 2016: “Mauli Mauli” the chant was in the air of Pune whole day with full enthusiasm and devotion.  As today was the big day on occasion of Palkhi festival. People were all set to celebrate the festivity. The routes were decorated beautifully and arrangements were made for the pilgrims known as ‘warkari‘. Lakhs of devotees make this walk of faith possible every year. This year it estimated about 3 lakhs of pilgrims will decorate the occasion. Thousand of warkaris chanting, singing, dancing, only because of one reason and that is ‘faith’. Faith of devotion. The beauty of this walk is that it consists of more than 90% people from villages and majority of them are above 50 years of age. Many of them would be daily wage labours, vegetable and fruit sellers, whose family rely on their daily income but seems like faith for them is above all priorities.

Asaram Bhosle a 65 plus years of age man is participating in this holy walk since he was a kid and continuing this walk from that time. “For me its above all my priorities and I have to participate in this walk till my last breath and also encourage young generation to follow the rituals”, he told Punekar News.

Santosh Hegde (15),a primary school student, was a bit confused about the reason of the walk as he said,“ I am doing this from last three times because my grandfather and father are coming in this walk every year without any hesitation and assist me to do the same holy work as well”.

Yesh Bhagnani, an IT professional, who is following this walk from last year, has different reason from others. He quoted, “this walk is very efficient and appropriate for my health. I have obesity problem and sugar of high extent. This walk provides a very well exercise as well as peace of mind”.

Like every year this festival starts in the month of Jyeshth (June) on the eleventh day of the first half of the month of Ashadh, the palkhi reaches Pandharpur. This walk consist of two main palkhis in which one is of Sant Tukaram Maharaj which proceeds from Dehu village with their devotees. Another major palkhi is of Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj which proceeds from Alandi.

People may have different opinions on the walk but one thing is for sure and that is it spreads beauty and spirituality all over in the environment and makes people more peaceful and focused for the responsibilities they are born to fulfil.

‘Faith’ such a small word but it includes pack in a punch, doesn’t it? Perhaps it may change ‘I’ centric environment of this age people to ‘We’ centric in some sense and also make them more humble and accepting.

(Husein Chunawala and Mayuresh Bhardwaj are students of journalism from Indira School of Communication)