Veteran actor Nana Patekar has been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi for the last 40 years. According to him, “these (10 days) are the most important days” of his life.
To ensure that he never misses the occasion, the actor even makes it a point to take a fortnight’s break from work every year. However, Nana doesn’t endorse celebrating the festival with loud filmi music and wild dancing.
Some of the best-known celebrities from the world of politics and films visit his house, which, during these 10 festive days, is open to everyone.
Nana Patekar gives us an insight into the Ganeshotsav ceremony at his house, and talks about why the festival means so much to him
The 62-year-old actor installs the idol of Lord Ganesh at his house in Mahim, and personally makes all the preparations for the festival, however hectic his working schedule might be.
This year, too, he began building the mandap and the pedestal in his house, where he will install the idol and decorate it in the best possible manner, he tells us.
He says that before the festival, he finished shooting for his films, and recently completed the dubbing for one of the projects. From the day the idol is brought home, Nana doesn’t move out of his house for the next 10 days. He spends most of his time sitting near the idol, dressed in white pyjamas and kurta, and sans any footwear.
He makes sure that not even a petal from a flower round the neck of the idol falls on the ground, and he takes active part in all the aartis (prayers) that take place throughout the day. He also stays awake on all nights during the festival. Nana follows a very strict regimen during this time.
“I live on a very frugal diet. There is no non-vegetarian food cooked in the house, and there is absolutely no question of smoking and drinking during these 10 days, which are the most important days of the year in my life”, Nana says.
The actor carries the idol to the seafront at Shivaji Park after 10 days, and immerses it himself without any hoopla or fanfare.