The Heritage’19 Navratri was my second event. It was being organized by The Karm Group for the 5th time this year. Heritage had won the best garba theme title last year and was a big deal as it had 95 Radio One and many big stars promoting it. The entire team was a close knit group doing their work passionately.
As i am very passionate about navratri myself I gave a call to my friend who was an important member of the group regarding my contribution in organizing the event. We had to manage the venue decor, lights and sound, staging, graphic designs, food counters, promotions for the 9 day long event. Our team’s main focus was the ambience and to enrich the place with Navratri vibes.
The theme of the decor had to be after the name of the event depicting the Gujarati Heritage. After a lot of discussions we finally ended up pinning a mix of Gujarati Heritage and traditional village theme down. It included a straw hut wherein people could sit and click great photos. On the entrance, we had vintage lanterns and pots, a wall filled with puppets dressed in chaniya choli, a ground water well, a wall with Maa Durga’s face, statues and traditional wall hangings to complete the look. All of it served as a great background to click photos. Because after garba, the 2nd best thing is clicking great photos in traditional garba costumes, right?
As Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary fell during the 9 days of navratri we decided to dedicate a corner to him and fixed his statue alongwith his famous ‘Charkha’.
For the garba ground we decided to go with hangings made out of colourful pieces of cloth and rope lights added to the pleasant ambience. The entry gate to the ground had various village paintings. As it was a night event, the lighting could make the event or break the event. And that is where our major focus went.
We were preparing and decorating at its best unaware of the nightmare that was going to hit us! It was just a day before the event was going to start that we were hit by the Lord of Rain! Not in the form of soft drizzles but a heavy downpour. When i reached the venue i was stunned to see every piece of decoration blown apart by the wind and rain. Not only did we have to do it all again but we had to think about protecting all of it incase the Rain God strikes again; which he did.
We made a big dome for the stage and covered the entry way with plastic sheets which could bear the force of the wind and rain and hopefully protect our decor. The only weapon we had was HOPE. We did it all again and hoped it would still be standing the next day. We prayed to the Godess of Navratri to help us celebrate her! And despite of the heavy downpour on the 1st day of Navratri, all the other venues remained closed but Heritage was LIT!
We felt blessed to have finished our first day with success. But we had to maintain the ground and decor for 8 other days as the weather forecast was not in our favour. We lost our domes to wind on the 2nd day and our hope for the consecutive days was reduced.
The 3rd day was a big deal for us as Siddharth Malhotra and Tara Sutaria were going to grace us with their presence to promote their movie. So we pushed, pulled an all nighter and rebuilt our stage. And we were sold out for that night which turned out to be a hit! The rush was insane and with the help of volunteers and security we welcomed our guests with pride.
The event went smoothly for the next few nights. On the 8th day, Tapsee Pannu graced us with her presence. The crowd went mad watching her play garba on stage with the RJs and organisers.
After 9 long nights, the event ended successfully. For me, it wasnt about the money i got, but about the pat on my back which i recieved from my parents. Hearing a “well done” for something you’re passionate about from the two people who mean the most to you is a big deal.
All I learnt was no matter how many times you fall, you should keep on going. Also, never underestimate God because he can strike anytime to test you! But he also gives you the strength to push through it and make it Golden.