Festivities commence and stars give Anita Raheja-Heena Agarwal a peek into what happens when Ganpati Bappa comes home
It’s that special time of year when the remover of obstacles, Ganpati Bappa arrives, bringing love, cheer and reverence. Here’s how some of his well-known devotees welcome him…
Hema Malini (Actor, politician)
My mother worshipped Ganpati and would perform the aarti. Now I do it along with my daughters, sons-in-law and grand kids. It’s a beautiful feeling because the entire family comes together to celebrate the festival. We make special bhog and different kinds of modak every day for Bappa, sing bhajans and perform aarti too. My cousins Prabha and Mohan bring the idol home and decorate the pandal in my dance rehearsal hall. My grandson Darien loves aarti and eagerly awaits Ganesh Utsav. This will be the little baby Radhya’s first Ganpati celebration.
I try and keep myself free during this period, but now I have my political commitments so I have to shuffle between Mathura, Delhi and Mumbai.
Tusshar Kapoor (Actor)
We have been keeping Ganeshji for 42 years, from the ’70s.
Our moorti is the same every year; we purchase it from our regular vendor. It’s an eco-friendly moorti which we keep for five days.
Earlier my father (Jeetendra) would do the rituals but now I do so. I wear a dhoti for all the five days during pooja. Now with Lakshya in the family the festive mood is even brighter. We are vegetarian for the five days when the Ganpati is at home. On the day of visarjan our friends and families come over. A lavish buffet is served with various types of mithais, modaks and food.
For visarjan, we take our Ganpati in a truck with lots of fanfare, dhol et al, to Silver Beach.
Ganeshji brings positivity in our lives and world. We feel he is a member of our family, hence we welcome him year after year.
Ankita Lokhande (Actor)
Bringing the Ganpati idol home has been a family tradition from my childhood days in Indore. We would keep Ganpati for 11 days. In Mumbai, I keep it for one and a half days.
As a Maharashtrian, I have always had a strong connection with Lord Ganesha. Besides, my show ‘Pavitra Rishta’ has a major link with Bappa so whenever I am in trouble, I believe Bappa will make it fine.
I personally choose Bappa’s idol and I book it prior to the festival. My Mamaji does all the decorations. We keep it very simple with basic lighting, red flowers and durva. The idea is to feel the presence of God so I don’t believe in over-doing the decorations.
I do the pooja which I have learnt from my father. In Indore we would make different offerings for 11 days like puran poli, ladoos, rabdi-basundi and modak.
We do the visarjan at home in a tub. The eco-friendly idol dissolves and we pour the water on plants so that the positive energy lingers around for a long time. I don’t support visarjans in the sea, lake or ponds because I find the process harsh. The idol breaks and I can’t see Bappa that way.
Nana Patekar (Actor)
We have been keeping Ganpati in our family for nearly 100 years. My father, when he was alive, would bring an eco-friendly moorti from Varadkar’s at Girgaum. I am continuing the tradition and keep Ganpati for all 10 days of the festival.
I order fresh flowers every day from Dadar market and personally decorate the mandap and moorti. Pooja is done every day by the pandit and my family and friends. We have bhajans every day during Ganpati. Every day Ganpati is served with new and different naivedhya. The prasad consists of sabzis, ukdi che modaks, gulab jamuns, pedas and puran polis. Alu wadi is a must have!
Visarjan is done in a special wooden palki to the sound of lezim and dhol tasha. The Ganpati is immersed at Shivaji Park.
I don’t bring home a Ganpati idol but I would like to make a wish. May Ganpati, the destroyer of evil bless this world with peace and love. Ganpati stands for faith and positivity and good beginnings and I hope people wake up with these feeling every single day.
Dilip Joshi (TV actor)
I don’t keep Ganpati at home so I go for darshan to the houses of the cast members of ‘Tarkh Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’. I visit the homes of Mandar (Bhide), Amit Bhatt (Champaklal), Sonalika (Madhvi bhabhi) and Nimisha Vakharia (Tenali Ram’s mom). In prasad, I relish laddoos and modaks.
I pray for peace, prosperity and the well-being of everybody.
Nimrat Kaur (Actor)
I am from North India and was introduced to Ganpati once I came to Mumbai; I found it a very sweet and endearing tradition. However, the noise levels and the pollution levels worry me every year. I like it when the utsav is celebrated in an intimate fashion.
I love going from house to house to visit different Ganpatis. In prasad, like everyone else, I love modaks. It’s imperative that the Ganpati we keep is environment-friendly. Some of the pictures we see after the immersion are disturbing so we must all get together in helping with the clean-up process.
Sunny Leone (Actor)
I visit friends’ homes for Ganpati darshan. I respect the culture and celebration of each and every religion.
Divyanka Tripathi (TV actor)
During Ganesh Utsav, a visit to our manager’s home is a must. Till Vivek and I don’t do darshan of their Ganu, they don’t proceed for the visarjan. We get a complete family feel here which, otherwise, we miss in Mumbai.
I love authentic steamed modaks (the ones with rice flour covering and coconut-jaggery filling). Whenever I visit my house help’s Ganpati, I pick up at least two to three modaks!