While you read this, actor Salman Khan and his entire family are busy performing the rituals related to Lord Ganesha. A month after hosting a big Eid party, the actor’s home in Galaxy Apartments, Bandra, Mumbai, is buzzing with Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations.
“We first brought Lord Ganesha to our house 11 years ago because Arpita (Salman’s younger sister) insisted, and have been organising this ever since,” says Salma Khan, their mother.
Earlier, when the Khans did not celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at home, Salman, his brothers, Arbaaz and Sohail, and sister, Alvira, would be taken to their aaji’s (maternal grandmother’s) home in Mahim for the festivities. Alvira, who is married to filmmaker Atul Agnihotri, recalls, “Salman bhai, Arbaaz bhai, Sohail and I would run down the street to join the Ganpati processions that would halt before our house.”
In this modern Muslim home, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity co-exist happily, thanks to the efforts of Marathi-Brahmin Salma Khan (originally Sushila Charak), her husband, Salim Khan, and his second wife, Helen, who is a Catholic. “I offer namaaz every day and recite the Quran verses just as I do my pujas and recite Gayatri Mantra,” she explains.
“On Wednesdays, we used to go to the church for Novena prayers as well. Salim miya and I have taught them the basics of all the religions,” Salma says.
Salman, who has taken a two-day break from the shooting of Dabangg2 in Satara, looks fresh after a rigorous workout and shower. “I feel blessed to be born and brought up in a house that respects every religion,” he says. “The credit goes to mom, dad and Helen aunty. In Galaxy, God is one, though our paths to reach the almighty are different."