File pic
File pic

Tomorrow, Mumbai heads out for visarjan, and like every year, it will be a frenetic day. Roads clogged with devotees looking to bid farewell to Ganesha, mandal and pandal volunteers walking along the idols to different water bodies in the city.

With all the activity on the Grand Trunk Road of Mumbai, safety should of course be paramount. This is not just the onus of police and volunteers; it is also up to the ordinary people to exercise caution, to be sensible n the midst of all the fervour, and to keep their finger on the pulse of the situation.

The ubiquitous selfie with the Lord should be taken with care. Lifeguards at the beach know a thing or two about the dangers of the selfie mania, and it is worthwhile listening to them. They have seen devotees throw caution to the wind in their eagerness to score a perfect selfie. Following the rules and putting safety first is non-negotiable; warnings from lifeguards or the police cannot be ignored or flouted with impunity. They are on our side, we are all part of the `system' as we like to call it.

Every visarjan, we hear of people overestimating their swimming prowess or underestimating the current and going out too deep for immersion. This foolhardiness only increases when devotees are inebriated. Remember to only go in as deep as the lifeguards advise, and only as far as you can swim comfortably and safely. If in a group, somebody can be entrusted with carrying a basic safety kit.

The city has just had a very difficult and tragic day because of the recent deluge. It showed us in no uncertain terms what water can do. Let us take a lesson from that day. Let's pray that this traditionally bitter-sweet farewell is free of tragic incidents and accidents that can be easily avoided.