For Mithila Palkar, the 10-day long Ganeshotsav celebration this year is the same as last year. She will be celebrating the time with her grandparents at home. However, the ‘Karwaan‘ actress says she misses meeting her friends, visiting their homes and catching up with them during the 10-day festivities.
“The Ganpati festival has always been celebrated in a simple way in our house. The celebrations are intimate and it’s all about having a great family time. Preparing ukadiche modak is a huge part of the celebrations, so is wearing colourful traditional clothes, nath, gajra etc. This year, my mom is joining us and my grandmother is celebrating her 86th birthday during the festival too. So, it’s a double celebration for us!” exclaims Mithila.
The ‘Muramba‘ actress adds that listening to the aarti and devotional songs dedicated to Lord Ganesha in the morning is a ritual they follow every year during the festival. “My grandmother loves music and we play Ganpati songs every morning. We have an antique silver idol of Ganpati Bappa that we bring out during the festival, decorate and offer prayers to,” says Mithila, adding, “The energy during Ganeshotsav is very different. The beauty of the festival lies in the fact that even though people are celebrating it at home, you can smell the aroma of incense sticks, the divine aarti from a nearby home and the smell of modaks filling the air. All this adds cheer to the festivities.”
Mithila loves to visit her friends’ houses during Ganeshotsav and relish modaks with them. However, she is avoiding that this time owing to the pandemic. “I miss visiting friends and celebrating together. It has been a ritual for many years. Having said that, we have to be cautious because the pandemic is not over yet,” says Mithila, adding, “As much as I love the festivities, I would like everyone to remember that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We have to be careful while celebrating the festival. So, it is imperative that we stay home, enjoy with family and gorge on modaks.”
Ask Mithila if she has tried her hand at playing the dhol-taasha ever, and she says she hasn’t, yet. Mithila adds, “I would definitely love to learn to play the dhol-taasha someday from a dhol pathak in Pune because the city’s Ganeshotsav culture is very vibrant. Maybe, when the pandemic is over, I would come down to Pune and get someone to teach me to play the dhol-taasha.”