By Rutuja Marale
LIKE EVERY year, the Kasarwadi jatra or fair is underway with much fanfare and enthusiasm. Kasarwadi, is a suburb of Pimpri-Chinchwad with a population of nearly a lakh.
The jatra or fair started some 50-60 years ago. However, local residents say for more than three decades was not held after one of the jatras saw an ugly incident, something relating to quarrel between two groups.
The jatra then ground to a halt. However, a few years back, the tradition was revived by the local residents or sons of soils which includes Landge, Lande, Jawalkar and other families.
Before the jatra gets underway, a pooja of the village diety is conducted and a procession taken out. The Landge families lead the procession amidst the sound of the dhols and tashas.
At the jatra, youngsters and womenfolk participate in large numbers. The highly educated though are missing, they remain before their television sets watching buckwas and bore serials. However, the
enthusiastic among them, those who want to enjoy every bit of the life gifted by the god, take part in the jatra whole-heartedly. They come out
in big numbers.
Some can be seen buying tiklis, some buy articifical jewelleries, other gobbles up red hot revdis. Then children can be seen enjoying merry go rounds or muching on malai ice-creams. On two days, atmosphere in Kasarwadi completes gets transformed.
Mr Satish Landge, one of the architects of the jatra, says people whole-heartedly and enthusiastically participate in the jatras. “Even those who have left Kasarwadi long time back return to meet their old
friends and partake dinners,” he says.
Mr Prakash Landge, another old time resident of Kasarwadi, says he invites his relatives and friends from other parts of Pimpri-Chinchwad for dinner. “This is an integral part of our jatras. We invite
relatives and then in turn when jatra is held in their village, they invite us. There is homely and enthusiastic atmosphere.
The feeling of jatra cannot be described.On first day of the jatra, many old time Kasarwadians can be seen participating or taking a stroll in the jatra. However, some of the cricketers belonging to Kasarwadi Eleven Cricket Club, were clearly missing. “Those who take pride in Kasarwadi will certainly visit the jatra,” says Prakash Landge.
Mrs Jayshree Marale), an old time resident of Kasarwadi, says children and women enjoy jatra, they wait for this time of the year with high anticipation. “I think it should be held twice a year. They should hold it in October as well. And it should be held in an open group and for three-four days,” she said, recalling the nostalgic days of 60s when jatras were the cherished event of the year.