A festival which marks the beginning of the festive season in India, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all across western and southern India. It is one of the major festivals of Maharashtra and Mumbai lights up for ten days. Each street, each home is beautifully decorated and people from all communities celebrate the festival with much enthusiasm. Check out what all TV stars have to say this Ganesh Chaturthi!
What does Ganesh Chaturthi mean to you?
It really means a lot to me. Lord Ganesha is a symbol of new beginning, so I pray. The eleven days of Ganpati festival are magical, it’s a divine feeling, it’s a beautiful festival. I pray and wish that Mangal-Moortidoes mangal to all of us and may he shower his blessings on us.
I am spiritually rooted so on Ganesh Chaturthi, I feel as if I have moved back in time to an era when Ganesha was born. Indian spirituality is the oldest and we discovered the galaxy much before any one could do with the help of scientific gadgets and machines. So, in a way Ganesh Chaturthi acts as a time machine that helps me visit the olden era.
I love Ganesh Chaturthi because I love having guests at home. Nowadays, we keep so busy that we hardly find time to spend with our friends and family. So on this auspicious day, friends and relatives come home and we celebrate this festival together.
Ganesh Chaturthi, karwa chauth and suhaag poornima are the three fasts I have grown up seeing my mom keeping since my childhood. Many might know that here in Mumbai, the mass celebration of Ganpati festivals was started by Bal Gangadhar Tilak (for whom I have an utmost respect) to show revolt and strength of unity of Indians against Britishers’ divide and rule policy. And since then it became a trend and still is.
I have grown up with Ganesh Chaturthi. We celebrate Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi with equal fervor. Born in Goregaon – old Mumbai, I learned dance from street celebrations.
How do you celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?
I go to temples, then to different Pandaals. I also visit my friends` houses who bring him home for these eleven sacred days. It’s a wonderful feeling.
I do not find time these days to conduct Pooja at home. However, I do pray to Lord Ganesha and make modak for him. I also visit my friend’s place to take part in the Chaturthi celebrations.
Me and my husband go over to my brother in law’s place. Every year Ganpati puja is celebrated at his place. This time too we will celebrate it there with family. I also plan to visit some of my friend’s who have the puja at their place.
We have celebrating the festival for the past six years. This time too we will bring Ganpati home. I am looking forward to it.
We make Ganesha’s idol at home every year. We offer our prayers to the new Ganesh and also previous years Ganesh. After one and a half days, we do the visarjan of the previous years’s Ganesh and retain the new idol.
Well, I enjoy it, but since I am not too ritualistic a person, my celebration is not on a very grand scale… but I do have great faith in Ganpati Bappa and also believe in His super natural power.
As I am half Maharashtrian, the whole family comes over to my house. On this day, we make food without onion and garlic. However, I get depressed during Ganpati visarjan. We have always treated Ganpati like the member of our family.
We are not bringing Ganesha home this year; we will be going to Versova to celebrate the occasion.
Usually we bring Ganesha to our own house but this year we are not doing that so we will be visiting a friend’s house as I have a lot friends who have brought in Ganesha this year to their house.
I will conduct a simple Ganpati pooja at my residence. I will invite a pujari from the Jnana Prabhodhini Prashala, an organization in Pune that undertakes several social activities. Some amount of the Puja will go towards funds that will be used for the poor and the needy.
I will be out of town during the first few days so I wont be able to celebrate it at home. But I plan to go over to friend’s place once I am back in town.
Any fond childhood memory related to Ganesh Chaturthi?
My granny used to make delicious laddoos.The baccha gang that included me, used to steal and eat them. The moment granny used to come to know that we have stolen them, she would hide them. But a notorious lot that we were, we could manage to find the secret place where she would have kept the laddoos. And then we would be caught and smacked.
When we did Ganesh Pooja for the first time, we decorated Ganesha’s aasan beautifully and had also made a chariot for him. We spent a lot a time thinking how we could make it more beautiful and I cherish this memory a lot.
As a kid, I loved singing Ganesh Aarti loudly. We used to have a pooja in our society with dholak players beating the dholaks in harmony. I loved accompanying them as a singer. It was all about a gala get-together.
Yup, my sister was a cartoonist back then and after plague disaster, she made a cartoon of Ganpati Bappa running away from the mouse.
My parents use to belong to Pune so I have as a child celebrated it in Pune. There it use to be a lot more cultural affair with classical dancers and musical performances. The festival is celebrated in a traditionally richer way in Pune than what it is celebrated in Mumbai.
As kids, in our childhood we use to enjoy the procession and go to the Juhu beach for the visarjaan which is something I do not do anymore. If we bring a Ganesha at home then we do go but not otherwise as young kids, we went to the beach to see visarjaan every year.
Too many. Have had some wonderful times during this festival in the past.
Has the method of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi changed over years?
Everything changes with time. I think celebrations have become more grand , loud and commercial. Simplicity is missing.
Yes, the way people celebrate Ganpati has certainly changed as people’s lifestyle has changed drastically. But as long as people welcome Ganesha with devotion, there is nothing that can spoil the novelty of the pious day.
The spirit of the festival remains the same for sure but the celebration methods have changed.
Method has completely changed; people have forgotten the whole idea of celebration. It has become more of a religious and fashion thing.
No, it has been same for me. I did enjoy it as a child and I still do enjoy it. Usually, we celebrate Ganpati at home. It remains a holy festival.
It has changed a lot over the years. It has become more commercial and noisy as an event. The Bollywood music is being played at pandals which makes it a lot more commercial than a traditional looking festival. I believe god is sacred and it should be celebrated in a traditional cultural way rather than commercially with Bollywood music and theme.
Yes, the traffic situation during the festival time has become bad to worse.
I think it has become more commercial over the years. Besides, the traffic situation remains bad in Mumbai those ten days. But, off late I have noticed that it has become more oraginsed. Earlier we used to feel avoid going out specially near Juhu beach during this period, now we can still think of venturing out.
Yes, the celebration has changed over the years it has become larger now, it is celebrated at a larger scale peoples belief in god has increased. And due to media’s coverage, the publicity of such events have increased as compared to earlier years.
Finally, what would be your message to our readers.
I would request people to opt for “Eco- Friendly " ganesha idols for visarjan. We must be responsible towards the environment as well. Do not play loud music. Please do not pollute water , soil and air. Respect and protect nature. Enjoy the festival in a healthy way to the fullest.
Ganesh Chturthi reminds me of Lokmanya Tilak. It was his idea to make Ganesh Pooja a community festival. His aim was make people a cohesive unit during the reign of the Britishers. We need to maintain the same spirit and have Sarvajanik Pooja so that collectively we (Indians) can fight all problems.
Please do not buy Ganesha idols made of POP and other non-eco friendly materials. It is certainly not a good idea to pollute the environment. And secondly, even the Lord wouldn’t appreciate the fact that we are making a mess of the environment. It would be nice if you could make idols of clay. One can find God even in a stone. So it is not necessary to splurge on big idols that may harm nature.
I would just request people to bring eco friendly Ganpati to save Mother Earth as the sea creatures are dying because of all the harsh chemicals being dissolved in sea contaminating its water. And would also request the Government to convert the business of Ganpati idol makers into something more logical so that they don’t lose out on their yearly extra income.
Please celebrate the festival with the fervor and don’t eat non-vegetarian food during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Have a great Ganesh Chaturthi…god bless great happiness to you all and please try to not make it noisy that is one message I would like to give for sure.
I wish everyone a happy Ganesh Chaturthi.
I would like to wish all the people an environmentally friendly Ganesh Chaturthi. We should be good to our nature, being good to nature means being good to god. People should try and use environment friendly Ganesha so that it does to add to polluting our environment, we must preserve our environment that has been gifted to us by god.
To be conscious of the environment this time round and have sthapit idols at home. People should have co friendly idols at home so that there is less of littering during visarjan.
By Gayatri Sankar, Aman Kanth, Ridhima Mangal, Bikas Bhagat and Shomini Sen