Celebs enjoy festivities at home; say pandemic can’t dampen the festive spirit
Tinaa Dattaa, Debina Bonnerjee, Shrenu Parikh and Sharbani Mukherjee talk about how they celebrated Durga Puja and Navratri despite Covid-19Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 15:12 IST
Every year the preparation and celebrations of Navratri and Durga Puja last for days but 2020 has been unusual to say the least. The pandemic has restricted not just movement but also the manner in which festivals are celebrated. With no dandiya, garbas or Durga Puja fervour, Mumbai city seems to have gone silent this year during the festive season. Though the pandemic might have kept all of us at home, celebs share why it can’t dampen the festive spirit. They talk about how they are celebrating and creating their own “festive mood”.
This year, due to Covid-19, there is no pomp and show. We are performing all the rituals and puja as usual. It is different as there is no crowd, no entertainment, no bhog or prasad, no sindoor khela. We are maintaining social distance and celebrating Durga Puja in a basic manner. Maa’s idol, too, is smaller than usual. The devotees couldn’t attend but we have arranged for virtual darshan as is the need of the hour. We don’t want to take any chance with anyone’s health. Senior citizens are more enthusiastic about the Pujo but have stayed away due to health concerns. The anjali has been with minimum people around and it feels strange. But we are all glad that Maa is here with us and will bless us tide through this difficult times.
Asthami and Navmi are the most important days for Bengalis and I am missing the puja ceremonies, anjali, pandal hopping and good food, all of which I look forward to. There is a small pandal next to my house and the panditji there will video call and let me be part of the puja, virtually. I worship Durga maa in my house daily. I bought new clothes as per custom and to feel festive and of course, exchanged gifts with my family and friends.
To feel festive, I have bought stuff online as I wanted get the Durga puja feel. Every day, we dress up and drive around the city to see pandals from our car and feel cheerful. My parents are in Mumbai, I have been gorging on yummy dishes made my mum. Sure, I am missing pandal hopping and eating bhog. Every year, I would go the Mukherjee’s pandal and distribute prasad there, meet friends, talking non-stop in Bengali and feel like I am in mini Kolkata.
Navratri is one of my favourite festivals but I couldn’t enjoy it this year, I dressed up in Indian outfit and did a photo session to fee festive. It was fun. I also danced on garba songs during my Zumba class which was special and exciting for all of us. It cheered us all.