KARACHI: In the depths of Karachi’s Delhi Colony, Manoj Kumar has set up a small ‘mandva’ in his friend Kishore’s house to honour Hindu goddess Durga Mata on the occasion of Navratri. Navratri, which means ‘nine nights’, is observed to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Devotees at this mandva claimed that they kept the celebrations minimalist this year out of respect for the month of Muharram.
“Our women and children sing and dance to celebrate Navratri every year,” said Manoj. His friend, Ashok, explained that the mandva is like a darbar [court] of the goddess.
“We have made it like it is done in India,” said Ashok’s mother, Lakshmi. “This year, we have toned down our celebrations out of respect for Muharram.” Manoj explained that because of his engagements throughout the year, he is unable to pay homage to the Mata. Hence, he chooses the event of Navratri to express his reverence. “I live here for 10 days even though this is not my house,” he said. “These people trust me for the seva [service]. My friends set up similar garbas in Soldier Bazaar, Ranchore Lines and Gizri.”