Ganesh Chaturthi is, inarguably, the most revered festival in Maharashtra, and is celebrated with grandeur. This festival is held in honour of Lord Ganesha, who is worshiped for 10 days. Like everyone living in the city, film stars, too, have fond memories of the festival. While some actors have been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi since they moved to Mumbai, a few have grown up visiting various pandals across Mumbai.
Here, Bollywood stars tell us what the festival means to them, as they also share their fondest memories associated with it.
I have very fond memories of the festival since my childhood days. This is one occasion when my entire family comes together. I will be back in Mumbai for three days to celebrate the festival. We are all very excited to welcome our Ganpati Bappa home.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra
My mom has always been obsessed with Ganpati idols. She is a collector. As kids, we would visit all the big pandals at night. It used to be very fascinating, and we actually looked forward to the festival. My parents would take us to at least five pandals. We looked forward to the outing, and eating the modaks.
As a kid, I didn’t know much about Ganesh Chaturthi as it wasn’t really celebrated in Chandigarh (Punjab). But when I came to Mumbai, the festival became part of my life. Though we don’t bring the Ganpati idol home, as I don’t believe in rituals, I can’t imagine this city without the Ganpati fervour. People call him the friendly God. I call him the Bollywood God. From the Ganpati puja that is done at the beginning of every shoot to dancing on the latest Lord Ganesha tracks, I feel Ganpati really completes the cultural fabric of this city.
We used to stay in Juhu, and as kids, we would go to the beach to watch the huge Ganpati idols being immersed in the sea. I would like my son, Veer, to enjoy this too, when he is a little older. He is very young right now, and might just get frightened to see the crowd.
I’ve been bringing home a Ganpati idol for 16 years. I started doing this ever since I landed in Mumbai from Moga, Punjab, to pursue a career in acting. I believed that Ganesha will help me achieve my goals faster. As a kid, I used to see how people celebrate this festival in movies.
I am from Pune, where Ganesh Utsav is celebrated with a lot of faith and enthusiasm, just like it is celebrated in Mumbai. May this festival bring a lot of happiness and prosperity to everyone.
I was born and brought up in Amritsar, Punjab, where Ganesh Utsav wasn’t celebrated as such. But ever since I have shifted to Mumbai, this festival has mesmerised me, and I enjoy seeing the way people celebrate it. There is so much happiness that is spread across Mumbai during these days. It is truly a blessing to be in the city during this period.
It is a very special festival for my family. We have been bringing a Ganpati idol home since 2009, and we make sure it is an eco-friendly one. There is a very positive vibe during the festival, and on those two days, when we have him (the idol) at home, I don’t shoot. I like being around him.
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