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Celebs share plans of celebrating the Ganesh Chaturthi

Celebs share plans of celebrating the festival, cautions everyone to be careful and that this year they would pray for peace and a Covid free world
Jyothi Venkatesh
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, the 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:

Vijayendra Kumeria: I feel very positive even with the thought of the Ganpati festival. Bappa is the Vignaharta and when he comes and solves all the problems. I always pray and ask him to take away all the negativity in the world and make this world a better place. Bringing Bappa home has been the fondest memory of the festival for me, the celebration, the art and the vibe at my place used to be different when we all could do it along with our loved ones around. I got him home for three consecutive years. This time too we will do puja at home and won’t step out or have guests coming given to the Covid scenario. Fortunately outside my set in film city we have a big Ganpati idol, I will pray over there every day.  I had seen Ganpati celebrations on TV and in films before I came to Mumbai and became a part of it for the first time when my then-girlfriend, who is my wife now, introduced me to this celebration in a proper way.

Gaurav S Bajaj: This is my favourite festival and best ten days of my life in a year. I feel very positive and it’s going to be a little different due to the pandemic, but I feel it will be much easier than last year because I will be spending the time with my family in my home town. We celebrate it for 10 days, and on the 10th day it gives me so much positivity. I am very lucky that Bappa always gives me something or the other when this festival comes and this year already I have received the offer of this brilliant wedding song titled Dholna, I feel grateful and blessed. Every year there is a different memory, but last year, while we were in our hometown, Indore, me and my wife made eco-friendly Ganpati idol and decorated it beautifully. After Visarjan in the mud we sowed a Tulsi plant. I always bring Ganpati ji home and keep him for 11 days. My family have been doing this for the last 38 years. This year we have planned to bring Ganesh ji home in a different way. There is a well known temple in Indore where many of us keep our Ganpati idol and not immerse the same in water. So we will be bringing our idol of the Lord that we have kept in the temple home. Ganpati celebrations are huge in Indore too, big pandals are erected. When we used to live at our old house at that time my father used to celebrate it for the entire colony, but now we try to visit that place once because from where it all started. This festival means another parallel world to me.

Parull Chaudhry: 
Ganesh Chaturthi means beginning of festive season, good vibes and festivities all around. Ganpati Bappa is vighnaharta and the one God I pray to every morning. I will mostly be shooting every day as I am doing two shows. But definitely make an effort to visit my close friends and their ganpati, offer prayers and eat prasad. Celebrations are definitely low key this year and that’s important due to the current covid scenario, after all safety comes first. Even Bappa wants us to stay safe. I would just want to pray to Bappa that we get out of the covid situation soon, and resume our normal life. People have lost jobs and are struggling for finances. Hope all of this gets sorted soon. Also the Afghanistan scenario is heartbreaking. I hope and pray that the world heals.

Sharad Malhotra: I’ve been getting Ganpati home since the last 11 years. I feel attached to Lord Ganesha and the fervour in the city of Mumbai during the festival is unparalleled. I will be following all protocols. My mom has especially come for this festival. It is usually for one and a half days. I would be celebrating it with my family and close friends. Since it’s the pandemic time everyone should follow the protocols.

Avinash Mukherjee: I am very excited about the Ganpati festival. We will be bringing Ganpati home and celebrate this for five days like every year. Bappa is a vighnaharta and as we all know about the present situation, it is much better than what it was last year, so now more people are healthy, recovering, and life is getting back to normal, people are getting employed, shows and films are being made, so I would pray to the Lord that this good time continues. Significance of this festival is huge for us as well because we believe in Bappa and visit our relatives and they also come home. It’s a most loved and cherished moment for all of us taking Ganpati ji’s blessings.

Himanshu Ashok Malhotra: For me Ganpati is always closest to my soul. I have been bringing Ganpati home for years and kept him for one and half days. But in between, I could not because of the shoots. This time too I am probably going to miss bringing Bappa home because of my shoot. The first time when I came to Mumbai, I actually saw how Ganpati is being celebrated because in Delhi nobody celebrated Ganpati like it is done here, so I totally loved it. I go to my friend’s place, pray, attend the aarti and eat sweets as I love to do the puja. It’s always beautiful to connect with Bappa… This time somehow I will try to visit Lalbaughcha Raja and this will be my most memorable Ganpati darshan. I will be going to Naman Shah’s house as he will be bringing Ganpati home. The first time I got introduced to this festival, I totally loved it, and still cherish my first visarjan amid the sound of punters dhol and all the dancing.