"The market is very sluggish. Sponsors are pulling out. Whatever you see here, we have done out of our own pockets as we want people to enjoy," said Shekhar Ramachandran, a partner at Shriya events, that organises one of grandest Navratri celebrations.
Hosting large scale Navratri celebrations cost anywhere between Rs 2 crore and Rs 4 crores, half of which comes from sponsors.
Not all organisers however, are able to pay from their own pockets to keep the celebrations going. Unlike last year when there were at least 10 big ticket organisers, this year there are just about seven.
In absence of sponsors, some organisers have completely refrained from holding a bash. One such sponsor is Jignesh Khilani, secretary of the Ghatkopar Gujarati Samaj, who has been organising dandiya celebrations for over 15 years. "We depend completely on sponsors. If our tickets cost Rs 500 to Rs 1000 in comparison to other places who charge over Rs 3000 for passes, how do we make up for our losses?" he said.
Like the organisers, garba enthusiasts are disappointed too with the pull-out. "I have been playing garba here at Ghatkopar all my life but this time there are no celebrations here. This is very disappointing, now we have to travel very far," said Ekta Thakkar, who celebrated Navratri at the police hockey grounds in the area for over 15 years.