As India observes the festival of Navratri today, Indian television actors talk about their plans to celebrate Navratri.
Rashami Desai: I am a Gujarati. So for me, Navratri is about dressing up, meeting friends and watching everyone play Dandiya besides doing regular pooja. It’s one of the most colourful, rich festivals for us Gujratis. I usually don’t go to do Garba all the nine days, but I try my best to go at least three days every year, without fail. I have been fasting all nine days since many years. I actually live on fruits during Navratri. My most precious childhood memories of Navratri are the times when my mom used to take me shopping for Garba and Dandiya. I remember buying all those colourful costumes and jewellery and playing Garba all nine nights. Also, since I would fast, my mother would pamper me with all the delicacies that can only be eaten during the fast. We would get the Garbi (an earthen pot that is decorated and a Diya is placed inside it which has to be kept lit for nine days) at our place and have a puja and recite prayers. It was all just a beautiful experience.
Arjun Bijlani: Navratri festival is an important festival for me. My wife and I make it a point to go to the temple at least once in these nine days. Like every year, I will follow rules of not having non-veg food and visit the temple with my family. Before Navratri, we clean our house and change everything from bed sheets to the curtain and also do pooja for nine days. I won’t be performing Garba this year.
Shashank Vyas: Navratri festival is a very special festival for me. I clean my house and do pooja. I will not be performing Garba. My best memory of the festival is when I was in Ujjain. The best memory is when I had danced till 4 am with friends at a Dandiya party.
Jasmin Bhasin: I have some amazing memories of Navratri. I remember we used to organize Dandiya in school. I would literally wait for the festival! This time, I am going to be in Mumbai as I am busy with work. But I’ll try to go out if work permits.
Himmanshoo Malhotra: Navratri as a festival brings a great amount of joy and is full of celebration. It’s an amazing festive season of yummy food and dance, especially in Mumbai and Gujarat. Everyone gathers for Dandiya and Garba. I totally enjoy the festival. As far as fasting is concerned, I don’t fast but my mom does on all nine days. The only restriction is not to eat any non-veg items during Navratri and we abide by what mom says.
Daljeet Kaur: I have lovely memories of Navratri. I am in Gujarat for my show Maa Shakti’s shooting. People are dressed up so beautifully here. Few girls even showed me some trendy tattoos that I was amazed to see. I hope that every Navratri I get a chance to visit Navratri pandals. Not that I am a great dancer but Garba is something that brings out the dancer in everyone. I will take my son out this year and show him the colourful festival of Navratri.
Adaa Khan: I can’t go for Garba on all the nine nights because of work. I love watching everyone dancing and I feel this is the best festival to reconnect with old friends. Though I am currently busy with my shows, I might visit some pandals with friends. I like the festive vibes.
Ssharad Malhotra: During Navratri, we invoke the energy possessed by God Durga. The significance of this festival is the removal of all miseries in life. Durga is also referred to as Devi or Shakti. We worship 9 forms of Devi during these nine nights. It’s a very auspicious time for all of us. Personally, I am from Kolkata, where Durga Pooja is the biggest and most important festival of the year. I remember going out with family and friends to visit Pandals which are so gorgeous. There, we take blessings from different idols of Maa Durga. Since I have shifted to Mumbai now, my friends and I visit pandals after pack up and see different idols. The best part is the Bhog which we get after Pooja. This festival is so beautiful and filled with vibrant colours. You get see people dressed in colourful Indian attire like Kurta pyjama, Dhoti, Saris, Lenhgas. As a kid, I remember back in Calcutta, I used to fast on the first and last day along with my Mom but here in Bombay, with such a busy schedule, it’s going be difficult fasting. Though I’ll try fasting on the 8th day because it’s Ashtami. Most of my friends play Garba and I stand and watch them but this year I’ll try playing too.