If you’ve been surprised by the behavior of many mandals across the city to restrict entry for those above the age of 13 wearing shorts into the Ganesh pandals, you have a surprising factor to blame. It’s none other than Poonam Pandey.
A senior organizer of one of the pandals in Mumbai narrated an incident, “Poonam Pandey was the main reason why we had to take this decision. When she entered the pandal, the environment turned ugly because of the way she was dressed, so much so that we didn't want to give her the celebrity treatment in our mandal.”
While the crowds can get unruly in such circumstances, some organizing groups have provided for a separate section where people who are unsuitable dressed can wear ‘suitable apparel’ for the event before stepping into the crowd.
When spoken to about this ‘problem’, Poonam was blatant as usual. She only said, “Nothing is hidden from God. God knows what kind of a person I am, so going to the mandal wearing a saree would not have made a difference in the blessings he bestowed on me. Instead, I chose to go in my regular shorts. I don't think that putting a dress code in place for entering a Ganpati pandal is right, as the connection with God is more important.”
Well, here’s to her unwavering stance of doing exactly as she pleases.