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Celebs ask Bappa to take away negativity, share low-key festival plans

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It’s time to welcome Bappa in our hearts and homes. The Ganesh Chaturthi festival began on 22 August and will continue till 1 September. However, this year’s celebrations are marred by rising cases of coronavirus in the country. Though it will be a low-key ceremony, celebs are not going to miss out on welcoming Ganpati. Here’s how they plan to celebrate the grand festival in Covid-19 times.

Bringing Ganpati home is a tradition and I was sure that Covid-19 or no Covid-19, I won’t be missing out this year too. This is my 10th year of bringing Bappa home and I wanted it to be special and grand. But due to Covid-19, we couldn’t do much. Ripci and I are doing everything ourselves and will have friends over for puja and arti. I just pray to Bappa that we get rid of Coronavirus and all the negativity soon and our lives can go back to normal. —Sharad Malhotra

We don’t get Bappa home. So I will be visiting my aunt and a couple of close friends who are taking care of all the safety norms and keeping social-distancing in mind. Many of them are calling only two guests at a time on a set time unlike calling everyone at once like every year. —Rishina Kandhari

 I made my own Ganpati this year. I got some organic clay and worked on my idol for three to four days. My fondest memories of Ganesh Chaturthi is all the pujas and pandals we used to visit as kids and dancing in the visarjan. I will surely ask Bappa to take away vighna and bless all of us with health and prosperity. —Meera Deosthale

This year the festivities won’t be that grand. And though I don’t bring Bappa home, I visit friends and seek blessings from their Bappa. This year I will miss visiting pandals too. Looking at the number of Coronavirus cases I will try not to visit my friends too as I don’t want to put others at risk. Pandal hopping during my first year in Mumbai was memorable. I was tired by the end of the day but it gave me such happiness and peace. —Shashank Vyas

 This time the festival will be celebrated differently but I am sure Ganpati Bappa will take away our sorrows and all the negativity and bless us with joy. Like every year we will do puja and arti at home but won’t be visiting friends and other pandals. We brought Bappa home for three consecutive years and the arti, bhog and the visarjan were memorable. —Vijayendra Kumeria

My fondest memory is Ganpati visarjan and I visit Marine Drive every year to witness this miracle. It’s a beautiful sight. I am looking forward to Ganpati season irrespective of Covid-19 but with precautions and required pre-requisites. Stay safe and enjoy the Ganpati season! —Vikas Sethi

We bring Ganpati home every year with a grand celebration. Two years ago at visarjan, we were all happy and dancing away all night. It’s my favourite recollection of Ganpati festival. This year is different, let’s stay safe and indoors. May Bappa bless all of us abundantly. Enjoy the Ganpati energy! —Jhanvi Sethi

Yes, it will be a low key ceremony this year. We brought Bappa home like every year and though the celebration won’t be the same, we intend to continue with the ritual. This time also it will be an eco-friendly Ganpati. We will have friends and family over with all the safety and precautions. My fondest memory is reuniting with closed ones and gorging on sweets. Chocolate modaks are my favourite. —Mohit Malhotra

This year, only my family will be there at the Ganpati festival and no friends and relatives. It’s special as we have a new addition to our family, we made sweets at home and kept the decor basic. With a newborn at home, we can’t take any risk. After marriage, the first Ganpati was special. Being with Bappa all the time is my fondest memory as we don’t leave him alone. During night time I used to sleep next to him which was felt comfortable and different from our daily life. —Pranitaa Pandit

Every year I bring home Ganpati but this year I am not doing so due to the pandemic. I am going to miss Bappa at my house but will keep fasting and visit the temple. This year I will ask Bappa to end the pandemic and whatever lesson we have learnt during this time, I am going to keep that in my mind and will apply it in future. —Khusbhoo Kamal

 I always keep a Ganpati at my place. When I first came to Mumbai, I prayed to bring Ganpati at my place when I will become famous and get good work. That happened and I have been bringing Bappa home for seven years now but this year it won’t be possible as I am not in Mumbai. —Angad Hasija

We started bringing Bappa home since last year. Because of the pandemic, we are in Delhi but brought Ganpati here. We will invite friends in slots and maintain proper social distancing. This time we will do artificial visarjan and once melted will put it in Tulsi plant. —Rohit Chaudhary

Ganpati festival is important for me. I brought my first Ganpati home three years ago. At that time I did not have any work and thought that it will bring happiness and his blessings are so magical that in the first year itself I gotYeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. I couldn’t bring Ganpati home for the past two years and this year too due to Covid-19. —Shilpa Raizada

 Every year Bappa›s homecoming brings happiness in my family. We celebrate it with great enthusiasm and goodwill. I am a Maharashtrian and witness the grand celebration every year. This year there won›t be any dhol or nagada but I will pray with utmost devotion for the betterment of the world, humanity and the well-being of my most dear ones. —Dhruvee Haldankar

This year Ganpati will be celebrated low key due to this pandemic and taking care of our health is necessary. Ganpati Bappa is Vighnaharata and we bring him home so that he can take away all our problems. Even Bappa doesn›t want us to crowd a place and understands the situation. Gujaratis make ladoo and put a coin in one of them, it is believed that whoever gets it has Bappa›s blessings which I cherish. —Urvashi Upadhyay Sharle

Ganpati festival is celebrated with a different level of energy in Mumbai. So every year I visit Siddhivinayak, Lalbaug and other pandals. We have been bringing Ganpati at our place for 11 days, do bhajan and arti. This year due guests won’t be there. I have made a Ganpati so it will be eco-friendly and we won›t have to go anywhere for visarjan. The best part of the festival is the moment Bappa steps into our home the whole vibe changes and there is something magical about it. —Aarvika Gupta

 I love this festival. My love for dancing started during Ganpati events near my house in Cholegaon Thakurli (Gaondevi mandir). I’ve grown up dancing in that mandap and used to get money as appreciation from people. I miss those days. I always wanted to keep Ganpati at my house and have brought him home for seven years. Since the last two years as I have been living alone in Mumbai and have not been able to bring Bappa home due to work commitments and religious aspects that need to be taken care of. —Rajit Dev

2019 was my first year in Mumbai and I welcomed Bappa at my house. I decorated it and tried my best to follow all the rituals for the sthapana. We enjoyed that one and a half days while Bappa was blessing us. I am at my native place but will try my best to match up the enthusiasm here. This is my 10th year of getting Ganpati home and every year is special. Last year›s Ganpati celebrations was like a big wish getting fulfilled. I pray that Bappa takes away the miseries and depression spread all around due to this pandemic. —Mou Das

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