Ganesh Chaturthi on September 10 is the first festival of the season and disciples of the Lord can’t keep calm. The celebrations are usually huge in Mumbai but given the pandemic scenario things are going to be different, much like last year. Celebs talk about the festival, its significance, most memorable Ganpati celebration moment, if they get Ganesh idol home and their celebration plans this year amid the virus scare. Some of them, who are not from Mumbai, also share the experience of being introduced to the festival in the city where the celebrations are always grand and beautiful. Read on:
I understand that keeping Ganpati at home is a belief system and when you believe in something strongly it definitely converts into magic. Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival of togetherness, we bring Ganpati home every year. And the positivity and grace that enters in our lives during this period is immense. My family looks forward to celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi every year. This year too we will do the same and I must admit that so far 2021 has been one of my best years with the blessings of Bappa.
I have always been an ardent fan of Lord Ganesha. Being a south Bombay girl there is an entire culture of Ganesh Chaturthi which is celebrated with much fervour, happiness, love, colour and laughter. Though I am a Parsi, one fine day I thought I also wanted Ganpati bappa home and this happened two years back. This will be the third year when we will be having Ganpati home but because of the pandemic the celebration will be low key. If Bappa wants he will continue coming home and we will be continuing with the rituals. I pray to the Lord to give all good health, peace and a Covid free world.
Ganpati is special to me as my elder kid was born during Ganpati. Though I am in Mumbai for the last 18 years, but, four years back we went to actor Parag Tyagi’s home during Ganpati and my wife Nidhi told me that why not we also start celebrating the festival. Since then every year, Ganpati Bappa stays with us for two days. Ganpati gives us a lot of positivity, and the best vibes that we need during these troubled times. This year we are getting a Bal Ganpati home and he will be with us for two days. During this time I cheat on my diet and eat modak to my heart’s content. Since last year the celebrations have been low key and this year too we will be careful. Cases are rising again so we need to be cautious and with full precautions we will celebrate the festival. My son is also excited as he loves the festival. He is a foodie too. Hoping and praying that Bappa removes this Covid from our lives.
Given the pandemic this time too the scenario will be very different in Mumbai, where Ganpati is the most important festival. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, who is the symbol of prosperity, wisdom and good fortune. The significance of this festival is that it brings a new start in our lives. I don’t get Ganpati home but I do visit my friend’s place. I am a devotional person so I love the festivals especially enjoy going pandal hopping and enjoy the creativity that one gets to see in the pandals in terms of decoration, theme and lighting. I was introduced to this festival thoroughly only when I came to Mumbai from . Blessings from Lord Ganesha gave me wisdom and prosperity. One year in particular, I went to Pune to hear the sound of the dhol that is being played during this festival and also experienced the huge crowd of girls playing huge dhols. It was really fascinating.
Ganpati celebration, which used to be extremely huge, has reduced considerably given the pandemic. Social distancing and following protocols is more important than lavish celebrations. I get Ganpati every year. I even paint our murti myself and even my mom makes mithais. But given the scenario this year, I am not getting Ganpati and also because my mom is out of town. I will celebrate it with a simple puja at home and maybe visit one or two of my friends who would bring Ganpati home.
I was born on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi so my family celebrates my birthday on this day as well. So l have two birthdays every year, once during Ganesh Chaturthi, and the other on the date I was born. I have many amazing memories of celebrating the festival. Ganapati is my favourite God. Whenever I am in any kind of crisis or problem, I just close my eyes and pray to him and also think of Siddhivinayak and everything falls in place. When I was born, I actually didn’t have one ear. It was just skin there but no shape and it was grey in colour. When I was born, everyone said Ganesh ji came home. While growing up my ears took shape and it got its colour also. If you look closely, my left ear is slightly bigger than the right one. Ganesh Chaturthi is a very special festival for me, given that I was born and raised in Mumbai. This year, I would not be in town but Bappa is always with me in my heart and prayers. I want to pray that everything is normal, people get jobs and become happy and we get back our Covid world.