As India is celebrating the festival of Navrarti, Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji who is traditionally a bong, is celebrating the festivity with Durga Puja with her family and friends.

Rani reminisced about her childhood memories connected with Durga Puja, as she spoke to a leading Indian daily. She said, “For Bengalis, the five days of Durga Puja is probably Diwali, Holi and Eid combined. My earliest memories are from the time when I was three. At that point, Durga Puja was a very close-knit family affair. All the kids from my family had to perform on stage because it’s sort of a must for Bengalis. So, I also remember performing on stage and have seen it since three. I became a butterfly once, and also Lord Krishna besides participating in so many of dances based on Rabindranath Tagore’s plays and other works.”

Talking about the importance of the festival for the Mukerji family, Rani said, “My parents met for the first time and fell in love during Durga Puja celebrations when a singer didn’t turn up and my mother filled in, so he flipped hearing her sing. So, I think the festival has a lot of memories – from my parents meeting for the first time to me remembering how actively my dad and mum were involved [in arrangements]. Even now, my mother is involved but my dad hasn’t been keeping well.”

When asked about whether her daughter Adira would have similar experience as she had during her childhood days, Rani said, “I don’t know because it all was very unadulterated at that time. Now even the fact that we have attended Durga Puja is covered by the media. So, if I am doing a ritual at the puja, a camera constantly follows me. I don’t think Adira would experience things like that because if she goes to the pandal, she would get a lot of attention that we didn’t get as kids. When you are one of the many, your experiences are different.”

Rani Mukerji will be next seen in Hichki which is directed by Siddharth P Malhotra. The film is produced by Maneesh Sharma under Yash Raj Productions.