Friday, August 29, 2014

Deva O Devaa Ganpati Deva, Tumse Badhkar Kaun…

Today is the day of the arrival of Lord Ganesha - the harbinger of success at all homes. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great pomp, zeal and splendor in Mumbai and the glitterati of Bollywood and the Television industry are not immune to this huge festival. While almost every television soap includes Ganpati festivities in their track, many of our television stars celebrate the coming of Lord Ganesha in real life too. While for some it’s all about eco-friendly Ganesha, some like to celebrate it the traditional way. And the ones who don’t get it home, they are either at their friends or relatives place or just visit Lalbagh cha Raja or Siddhi Vinayak for blessings. And while they are not shooting for the serial with the lord, they don’t mind going pandal hopping too, says a few.

And the same goes with our film fraternity too. While Nana Patekar continues the tradition of the festival started five decades ago by his father, Superstar Salman Khan has faithfully celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi for the last decade at his home in Bandra Galaxy Apartment. Almost all major Bollywood celebrities take part in the pooja and celebrations held in the homes - be it Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Shilpa Shetty, Rani Mukherjee, Suniel Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Raveena Tandon and Shreyas Talpade. Not to forget mentioning Jeetendra and his daughter Ekta who has a Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in nearly all the serials that are on air during this sanctum occasion.

As our favourite actors share their ideas on how they celebrate the Ganpati festival in this special feature, we will take you around to tell you how your favourite celebs celebrate the Ganesh festival at home too.

Vipul Roy
It's the best time of the year for me and this time it's more special as the next day August 30th is my birthday too!!  It's my 8th year of bringing Ganesha home!! And a huge number of people turn up rite from Friends to acquaintances and that's the best part. And that’s precisely was the idea with which Ganesha festival was started. Ganpati Bappa Morya…

Twishaa Bhatt Sandhu
It’s been 7 years now that I do visit Lalbagh cha Raja and like any other devotee, I too stand in the queue for long long hours just to get a glimpse of him. And the wait is worthwhile. While visiting him, I don’t expect any preferential treatment and this is my way of paying obeisance. I don’t get the Lord at my place, but I have been planning to do that and hopefully if Bappa agrees, maybe next year I will be welcoming him

Like any other Indian festival, Ganeshotsav is celebrated with lots of excitement and the atmosphere in the entire state is so happy happy.. You just can’t be sad when Bappa is around. In my childhood, 10 days of Ganpati Bappa in our society meant coming home only to sleep. It was so much fun with the aartis to the cultural event that followed - I have fond memories of my childhood attached to the festival.

Soon, I will start shooting for a new show from September and with the blessings of Bappa may soon do a movie for which talks are on.
Amit Behl
We have been getting Ganeshji since 2000 and this will be the 14th year. We celebrate it in a very traditional Maharashtra fashion as my wife is a Maharashtrian.

Amrita Dutta
Fashion Photographer
Ganesh Chaturthi is synonymous with the state of Maharashtra, but Mumbai is where the fun never ends.  This is not because the festival is observed at a grand scale here, but cos of our beloved Lalbaug cha Raja. The 10-days festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and it’s also one of the best times when we photographers are click happy. And Lord Ganesha is my most revered deity and thus Ganesh Chaturthi happens to be the most happening event of the year for me.

While we don’t get the lord at our home, but we do celebrate it my maternal uncle’s (Mama). And the onus of the entire decoration comes on me. Every year we have a theme and this year we have the Peacock theme. Even I believe in being eco friendly but couldn’t do much with the murti’s, but we have been having the eco friendly visarjans as well as eco friendly decorations. Yes, we re-churn the decorations and yet give it a very different look each year. However, next year, I am planning to make an eco-friendly ganesha myself and perhaps that will be the start of a complete eco-friendly Ganeshotsav for us.

We bring the lord and rever him in our own way. We have got done of the priests unlike others and conduct all the rituals ourselves - it’s like having a direct connection to him. We love him like a kid, feed him delicacies that my aunts and my mom prepares and just like him, his modaks are my favourite too.

Shakti Arora
Currently doing Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi on colors, I have made it a point to be home to welcome my Lord. We bring a Ganesh idol at our place since many years now. Rather it would be right to say, that he gets we all family members together to welcome him home. This festival means a lot to me since it signifies that Ganeshji is a Vighnaharta - that means he solves all problems. Ganeshji in my life has played an important role too - he has.always solved my problems and given me whatever I have asked from him. He is more a friend and we enjoy celebrating his visit and presence every year with full josh'.
Umer Khan
Singer - Mile Sur 2 Winner
As Maharashtra and especially Mumbai gears up for 10-day long Ganesh Chaturthi beginning today with road-side pandals coming up in every corner of this metros, the Ganeshotsav fervor is one not to be missed in Mumbai. I basically belong to Srinagar, Kashmir and I had heard a lot about the Mumbai Ganeshotsav celebrations. It also amazes me as how all regardless of their religion or personal differences celebrate the festival in colorful ways. It seems, even Salman Khan celebrates it at his home. And this time I will be a witness to this frenzy and mammoth event - My first time to witness such an event in its magnitude and scale. I can see the city already in the festive mood. I will be visiting my friend’s home and will also witness the celebrations all across the city with my friends and colleagues.

Meghaa Mukherjee
I do not get a Ganeshji home, but I definitely visit Ganesh Pandals and friend's homes who get a Ganeshji. According to me, Lord Ganesha symbolizes purity, abundance and honesty. Some of the moorti especially which I have seen are marvellously made and simply makes my heart melt. It restores some hope and faith that there is still positivity left in the world and miracles can happen even today. My only concern is damage done to the environment due to many idols of ganesha going into the sea every year which can harm and destroy the marine life. We had an incident once where it was mentioned in the papers that millions of fish died the day of Ganesh Visarjan. I would like to ask that since god created this world, would Lord Ganesha be happy that we are destroying the world he has created? I pray people get together and try to find ways to reduce the number of idols and also use eco friendly Idols so that there is still a balance in the environment. I am spiritual but also i think it’s high time we all get realistic and care more about the world and its people. That’s true worship of Lord Ganesha, or any god/goddess for that matter. As of me, I am currently working with stray animals - helping arrange funds for food and medical supplies mainly dogs and cats. As well talks are on for a Bengali film early next year.

Neeraj Malviya
No, I don't get Ganeshji at my Mumbai home but in Bhopal we get him for 10 days. So on my behalf they do everything. But yeah, I do miss the fun and celebrations. However, I go to my friends place and its awesome feeling to visit and worship there. But the best thing about Ganeshotsav celebrations is Mumbai is the Visarjan - who will miss the Ganpati dance? And I would in no way miss that. As for my career, he has given me the best opportunities and Im thankful to Ganesha in every way. My Ek Mutthi Aasman is going off air on 12th September. Right now I’m doing a cameo in Rajan Shahi's show and talks are on for new projects.

Anubhav Krishna Srivastava
I don't bring the lord home but it does come in my Apartment where the whole society celebrates it for 5 days. To me that is as well bringing him to my abode too. Apart from this, I do celebrate it on my show Pavitra Rishta with my on screen father Hiten Tejwani. I am playing Sachin Deshmukh, the son of Archana and Manav. I also do visit pandals especially Lalbaug and Wadala as well go over to my friends house who keep Ganpatis

According to me, Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the best festivals as Ganeshji is not only the most popular god, but the best thing about Ganeshotsav is that it's not religion based. I have Muslim friends who bring in Ganpati at their place - that shows the love and respect for him. The enthusiasm is also at his best and we not only get to see the lovely avatars of Ganeshji in different pandals which is mesmerizing, but of course the delicious modaks, which is quite a favourite.
Deepak Wadhwa
I was hectically tied up with Qubool Hai for quite some time. In between I got a few days break and I rushed home to Delhi to be with my family. I so much wanted to get home a Ganpati this year, but since I’m in Delhi and not coming back for another couple of days I could not. Every Ganpati I usually go to my friend’s house and celebrate. Also on the last day I usually travel from my home to Versova jetty clicking pics, admiring different ganpati's and taking prasad from almost all the pandals..and the last one is my fav part.. hehe..

Since I have been staying in Mumbai since the last 4 years, Ganpati has definitely become a part of my life. The way people celebrate Ganpati in Mumbai is amazing. It reminds me of my childhood when we used to celebrate Diwali. I’m glad atleast people still celebrate festivals in the same fervor.

Ankush Salgotra
First of all, Ganpati Bappa Morya… Mangal Murti Morya. I basically belong to Jammu and as such never got a chance to celebrate Ganeshotsav the way it is celebrated in Mumbai. But now stationed here for quite a few years, I celebrate Ganeshotsav by visiting family members and friends who get Ganpati at their place and also visit the various Ganesh pandals across the city. I always wanted to get a Ganesha home - but my family stays in Jammu and we believe that the lord is usually bought in the family home. And I am looking forward to the day when I can welcome Ganesha at my home. Ganeshotsav to me means seeing the lord - I believe in being celebrated all over. The decoration, the devotional chanting and the beautiful idols are very exciting. Also it gives me time to catch up with my friends and family during this season as being an Actor, life gets very hectic. And this gives more a reason than the time to visit all. Once again, wishing you all a very Happy Ganeshotsav.

Shruti Kulshrestha
Model & Actress
Ganesh utsav is always an auspicious festival for me. It is really a wonderful feeling to bring home a beautiful and cute Ganesha - the love of our life. In my childhood, I used to eager look forward to welcoming him and those 11 days would be real bliss for me. Ganesha brings with him his usual dose of luck, goodness and cheer to our home and spreads spirituality all across. Ganeshji is also the sign of prosperity and good luck and I strongly believe that Ganesh utsav always bring luck for me. We don’t do a fanciful puja but its all Dil se and with modak Prasad, his favourite and delicious food. My mom also prepares his favourite ladoos. I hereby invite all my friends, relatives and well wishers to my home to celebrate Ganeshotsav with me and chant Ganpati Bappa Moriya Mangal Murti Morya. Jai Ganesha..

Ameya Naik
Music Composer
Lord Ganapati comes to our home, rather his home since past 20 years, for 5 days, and his arrival every year brings us immense happiness, warmth, luck and love, as that’s what he is full of.

We usually get an Eco-Friendly Ganpati made out of paper mache from Sadguru Shri Aniruddha Upasana Trust.  This is what everyone should be going for now, to preserve our nature and the Sea.  Such an eco-friendly Ganpati, dissolves in water in 3 hours flat and is also painted with safe water soluble colours, which won’t harm the marine life.

We celebrate Ganeshotsav in a very different way. We do not believe in any fixed ritual done by any priest, which everyone does. Our beliefs are very true and practical. As Lord Aniruddha (Bapu) teaches us that God is only a sea of love and when he comes to your house, You yourself need to welcome him in your own way, which he loves the most, and accepts whatever you do, however you do it, with love. He does not need any agent like the priests, to take your prayers to him. I think this is a very important thought which can change lives of people, as this is the right way of worshipping God.

So all of us family members perform the pooja everyday and say mantras we know, and those which we enjoy chanting. After that we feed the prasad to our Lord Ganesha and then do the Maha Aarti in the morning and evening. Many people visit our house as they love the strong vibrations of love, peace and joy during these five days of the celebrations. Being into music, there are many artists who come, and perform on their own as they take lot more back home after performing here. So Lord Ganapati, is our biggest friend who loves us no end and always blesses our family every second.

As I hurriedly finish off writing this piece, Mumbai and Bollywood is already soaked in a devotional spirit as the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities starts off. Even I am rushing home to welcome Bappa at my abode and usher in the festive spirit with his favourite modaks and ladoos. On the way I can see a sea of people carrying Ganesha home while the fm in my car is busy playing...
Deva O Devaa, Ganpati Devaa, Tumse Badhkar Kaun; Swami Tumse Badhkar Kaun
Aur Tumhare Bhakt Jano me Humse Badhkar Kaun; Swami Humse Badhkar Kaun...

Mohan Das

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