Saiee Manjrekar: 'It Would Anger God If We Use Ganpati As An Excuse To Pollute The Environment'

Saiee Manjrekar: 'It Would Anger God If We Use Ganpati As An Excuse To Pollute The Environment'

Saiee fondly reminisces about her cherished memories of celebrating this festival.

Oshin FernandesUpdated: Thursday, September 21, 2023, 03:45 PM IST
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Saiee Manjrekar: 'It Would Anger God If We Use Ganpati As An Excuse To Pollute The Environment' |

Saiee Manjrekar, who marked her Bollywood debut in the action-comedy Dabangg 3 alongside Salman Khan, is a proud Mumbaikar who immerses herself enthusiastically in Ganeshotsav festivities. In an exclusive conversation with The Free Press Journal, Saiee fondly reminisces about her cherished memories of celebrating this festival. 

What are your earliest memories of celebrating Ganeshotsav?

One of my most cherished memories is when our entire family gathered at home during Ganeshotsav. It was a beautiful sight to see, with the kids eagerly fighting for the jhanjh and bell, all of them wanting to participate in playing the instruments during the aarti. What I truly love is how this tradition has evolved over the years. Now, as adults, we watch the aarti with reverence, while our younger cousins, nieces, and nephews do the same. It's honestly like full circle. 

What is your favourite part of this festival? 

I enjoy the process of waking up early on the first day, freshening up, getting ready, and gathering around the dining table to count out durvas and tie them. As the puja unfolds, and the fragrance of flowers permeates the entire house, there's an electric excitement in the air that's simply unparalleled. And what makes it even more extraordinary is that this enthusiasm continues to light up the following eleven days. 

What are your plans for this year?

I'm looking forward to participating in numerous aartis and, most importantly, reuniting with my family after a considerable time apart. The excitement is palpable because everyone will be home to celebrate together. One of the highlights of this festive season is undoubtedly the delicious food prepared by my mom. Another beloved tradition in our family is sitting down the night before and engaging in passionate discussions about what we're going to savor the next day. It's a delightful anticipation of the gastronomic delights that await us during this special celebration.

Your favourite pandals to visit in Mumbai

I love visiting Lalbaugcha Raja because, for every Mumbaikar, there's always been this sense of grandeur and attraction when it comes to this pandal, and that has been there with me since day one. I don't think that's ever going to go away. Once you go there, see the people, the beautiful murti, and feel that atmosphere, you cannot miss it. 

Food items you relish during this time of the year

There are a few people who send ukadiche modaks for us at home. One dish that stands out for me during this festive period is basundi puri, which we don't make very often. The other delicious dishes that grace our table during this time, include kheer, godi amti bhaat (a flavorful lentil curry with rice), and French beans ki sabzi.

Why is it important to have an eco-friendly Ganesha? 

It's of paramount importance to embrace the concept of an eco-friendly Ganesha, as it aligns with the belief that God created this world, not for us to spoil it and it would anger God if we use Ganpati as an excuse to pollute the environment. And an eco-friendly Ganesha is just as good as any other. It's your faith that matters.

What would you pray for this year?

My prayers will be dedicated to my beloved family, friends, and myself. I will fervently beseech for their continued good health and overall well-being, with a heartfelt wish for their prosperity and boundless kindness toward others. Additionally, for my own aspirations and endeavors, I will offer prayers for the success and acclaim of the movies that I am a part of.

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