Saptah reminisces of a nonagenarian – The Joshi Patriarch – Shri Vasant Joshi
Shri Vasant Joshi, now 93 years – the senior most member of the Joshi family, around whose abode the Saptah revolves, has perhaps seen more Saptah festivals than most citizens of this neighbourhood.
” When I was a child Saptah was a small local festival. Today the commercial angle seems to have overtaken the devotional celebrations.”
“There were just a handful of stalls outside the temple and in our compound. There was a lady selling guavas, a person selling roasted channa, a stall offering paan. There was a person providing attar faya for 2 paise – a small ball of cotton with perfume that usually is placed in the fold of the ear lobe. He also offered surma for two paise. There was usually a person selling kumkum paste, and small mirrors, bangles, handmade wooden combs, etc.
“The Shrifal was shifted to our house from Zambaulim. It gradually became a place of public worship. There was hardly any population in Vasco then. There used to be just about 50 to 100 people to do the bhajan. The dindi had about 3 or 4 bazarkars with 20 people following. My grandfather made 7 groups of various trades to do the 24 hour bhajan of the Saptah ceremony.
“There was no electricity in those days. Oil lamps provided light. All activity therefore ended early.”
Things have certainly changed beyond recognition.