Ganpati Puja plans... Since stay alone and generally I am busy with my work, I don’t bring the idol of Ganeshji and worship him as per the rituals. Ideally we are supposed to follow a certain ritual of worshipping the idol but I don’t have time to do that.
Visiting Ganpati Pandals... I scarcely have time to visit Ganpati pandals. It all depends on my shoots because I shoot at a place away from main Mumbai.
Fondest memories... We used to bring Ganeshji’s idol when I was in Indore and Ujjain. There we have celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi since childhood. We used to worship Ganeshji for 10 days as per the rituals. Back home in Ujjain, we used to ask for donations for the pandal we used to create in our colony. All our neighbours used to come together to celebrate the festival.
I love Lord Ganesha... Ganeshaji is my favourite deity. I strongly believe in him. I have not visited any other temple more than the number of times I have visited Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai. Whenever I had prayed for courage, success and strength he has always granted my wishes. Whenever I have prayed for anything, I have been given that by Ganeshji. (As told to Resham Sengar)
(Pic courtesy: Shashank Vyas Facebook)
My Ganpati celebrations... I am a true Mumbaikar. Ganesha Chaturthi is like second Diwali here. You see lights, colours and a puja pandal everywhere. The energy Ganesh Chaturthi carries is amazing. I have a lot of Marathi friends. One of my best friend’s mother makes rice modaks that are offered as Bhog to Ganeshji. These are the most amazing things I have had in my life. Relishing those yummy modaks is one of the highlights of my Ganpati celebrations, and of course the dance we all perform can’t be ignored.
Bringing Ganpati home... We don’t bring Ganpati home because my mumma says once we get him we have to bring him every year and take care of him. But I would love to bring Ganpati home someday.
Fondest memories... Earlier we used to live in this huge society. The whole society contributed to the Ganpati celebrations and we used to go and pick the moorti (idol) from the market. That was fun. All my friends, my brother and papa used to go out and have a blast. We used to play with colours and dance till we drop. All of us used to go to the pandals together and on our way we used to relish Vada Pavs etc.
I love Lord Ganesha... I simply love him and call him Gannu mama because every Raksha Bandhan we go to Siddhivinayak and my mumma ties Rakhi to him. So it is more like a family bond I share with him.
(As told to Resham Sengar)
My Ganpati celebrations... In my home, Ganeshji comes for one and half days. A day before Ganpati celebrations commence, we go and buy a nice Ganpati idol and welcome him home. We decorate our home, call the priest and do the puja. Since we are Maharashtrians, we prepare the traditional modak. I take off from work and invite friends home to join the celebrations.
How it all began... I have been celebrating Ganpati for 10 years now. I stared the celebrations at my daughter’s behest who was very young then.
Favourite puja pandals... I try to go for a darshan at Lal Bagh Raja Ganpati. But I am not able to do more than because of work.
I love Lord Ganesha... Since childhood everyone in my family had a strong faith in Ganpati but ever since I came to Mumbai and started my work I visited Siddhi Vinayak once for a darshan and since then my faith has increased on Ganpati. I like him a lot because he is the master of buddhi (intelligence) and gives mental strength whenever we face tough times.
(As told to Resham Sengar)
(Pic courtesy: Images99)
My Ganpati celebrations... I always celebrate this festival and this is going to be my sixth year that Ganpati is going to come home. We start the preparations one month before the celebrations and celebrate the festival for one and half days. It resembles a marriage celebration. There are so many customs we follow. We cover head of our Ganpati while bringing him home so as to avoid him from the evil eye. So that are the intereting parts of the celebrations. I especially order mithai from home for the bhog we offer to our Ganpati.
How it all began... When I came to Mumbai I had vowed that if I settle down well in the city, then I will celebrate Ganpati festival every year. Ever since Ganeshji has fulfilled my wish, I have been celebrating this festival without fail.
Favourite puja pandal... In the one and half days of Ganpati pujan, almost entire TV industry visits my home and after the visarjan, I go for darshan at Lal Bagh Raja and to my friends’ home.
I love Lord Ganesha... Ganpati weight is heavy. In Mumbai, there is a belief that the heaviness is because Ganpati takes the obstacles of his devotees on himself. Also, Ganpati brings friends and people who I am not generally in touch with near during the celebrations. I really like this aspect of the festival.