First time since your childhood, I assume, you’ll be witnessing a downsized model of the Mukherjees’ iconic Durga Pujo, which is in its 73rd yr. Yearly, hundreds flock to the North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja throughout all the times of festivity. This yr the celebration is clearly totally different?
Sure, it’s totally different and a really low-key affair as a result of as a group and society, we have to abide by the legislation, and if there’s a rule for a way all of the pujas and festivities must be performed, it’s just for the protection of each particular person. As it’s a puja, we didn’t wish to put a halt to it, so it’s being performed in a really low-key method the place solely the principle puja of Maa Durga is going down, and anything that occurs across the puja, as an illustration, serving bhog, distribution of prasad and even the leisure, which is a crucial cultural alternate program that occurs throughout puja — all that has been cancelled. Wanting on the pandemic scenario, particularly in Mumbai and Maharashtra, there will likely be solely the puja of the Goddess.
What are you lacking essentially the most concerning the in any other case elaborate celebrations, which I suppose is a close-knit household affair this yr?
Really, it gained’t even be a close-knit household affair as a result of all of the members of the family and the puja committee members have been instructed that they’ll come for the darshan provided that they’re taking correct security measures. And security measures are being taken on the pandal as nicely, however it’s not open to the general public the best way it usually is because it’s a sarbojanin puja. I feel what we’re lacking essentially the most is the truth that yearly all of the members of the family come collectively below one roof, however this yr that’s not going to occur. We additionally take pleasure in feeding so many individuals who come to go to our puja with our personal arms. I feel the poribeshon (serving meals to everybody) can also be one thing that I’ll miss and, in fact, the bhog, which is one thing that we stay up for consuming yearly. I feel there’s a lot that has occurred this yr that to let go of 1 yr of celebration is essentially the most wise choice that the household and the puja committee members have taken. We stay up for doing it subsequent yr as soon as every part is healthier.
Did you continue to handle to purchase some particular saris simply to mark the event and soak within the spirit of the pujo?
That is the one yr that I haven’t performed that. I’ll undoubtedly be doing a small puja in my home, as my daughter remains to be very younger, and I wish to maintain the custom alive. So, I’m going to do the Kanjak Puja on Ashtami, which I do yearly. I’ve obtained new garments made for my daughter, Adira, and I’m positive that I’ll discover a new sari for myself in my closet.
Like many others, will you even be viewing the pujo just about then?
If any committee or member of the family desires to observe the puja, they’ll accomplish that from the protection of their houses, just about. I take part through the aarti and pushpanjali. We additionally might need the entire household to do a video convention name in order that we will say our ‘hellos’ and want one another Blissful Pujo!
Given that you’re so hooked up to your loved ones pujo, is Adira now barely conscious of what the festivities are about?
She is aware of about it utterly as a result of for the final two years I’ve been taking her to the pandal. Final yr, she spent just a little extra time since she is older now, and it’s unlucky that this yr she will not be going to see that and there will likely be a yr’s hole. I’ll nonetheless see if I can most likely do a fast darshan, and figuring out me, I’ll really feel the urge to go, and may do it. There aren’t any concrete plans as of now, I’ll take it because it comes. Throughout COVID instances, planning will not be a really wise factor to do; we now have to take it sooner or later at a time.
We’re all lastly popping out of a protracted interval of lockdown. It has been a troublesome, however an introspective section for a lot of. What have been your learnings from this section?
What has been conserving me actually busy is my daughter’s on-line education for the previous seven-eight months and since she is simply four-and-a-half years previous, I needed to be round all through. I additionally completed capturing the remaining work for my upcoming movie, which was a special working expertise through the pandemic. We’ve got to take every day because it comes and all of us must be very grateful for what we’re blessed with. We must always be pleased about our good well being, having a roof over our heads and having the ability to eat what we eat. These are issues which we now have been capable of perceive and recognize extra in a scenario like this. We are actually humbler about all of the issues that we might have most likely taken with no consideration when this pandemic was not there. It has been an excellent section when it comes to spending high quality time with the household, being at residence and doing issues, which we couldn’t do owing to our busy schedules. I’ve taken to baking once more that I all the time liked doing. I attempted to hone my abilities as I had a lot time in hand. I’ve additionally learnt find out how to make Indian sweets from scratch, like sandesh, rasmalai, rasgulla and kaju katli. I’ve been studying quite a lot of issues and I really feel that studying for each particular person is enriching
I feel what’s constructive concerning the present scenario is the form of uninterrupted household time that many people have gotten. It has additionally helped us perceive one another higher…
Effectively, it has let me perceive my daughter utterly as a result of the time that she would spend at college, I’d really not know what she is doing when it comes to her total progress. So, simply being there day in and day trip has been a beautiful expertise. I’ve all the time stated that academics are crucial group as they’re those who lay the muse for the best way the subsequent technology goes to form up. A instructor’s contribution is so essential, and going by means of these seven-eight months of the pandemic with my little one and educating her at residence has made me realise this. The information that we now have been getting over the previous couple of months concerning the difficulties that kids on this planet are dealing with has been the reason for my fixed fear. Since my daughter is 4 years previous, my concern has been for youngsters of her age whose adolescence which might be spent at school has hit a roadblock as a result of crucial facet for them is to go to high school bodily, meet pals, play with them and work together with academics… however that complete course of has come to a standstill.
For adults, it has been a special expertise, however for youths, it has been very totally different and tough. I’m experiencing this clearly as a result of I’ve a baby of that age. I consider all of the dad and mom who’ve kids who’re above two years of age and they’re just about dealing with the identical factor since you need your little one to run round, go to the park, seashore, faculty and have that have of interacting with different children. That is one thing that they’re actually lacking out on. When the pandemic is over, we must see what impact it has had on them psychologically. Some kids can’t even categorical what they is likely to be feeling, and a few children may even block that feeling, so I don’t know the way it will influence them. I’m simply hoping and crossing my fingers that every one the youngsters are protected and are available out of this section with a constructive mindset. We’ve got to work additional laborious to take away the concern of this pandemic from their hearts and heads. Clearly, they find out about COVID-19 and so they know the explanation why they don’t seem to be being despatched to high school. The concern is instilled in them. It’s one thing that we must work on to get rid-off. That has been my most worrisome thought throughout this pandemic. For me, it has been wonderful, however as a mom, I’m very saddened by the truth that my daughter is unable to do issues, which she earlier may do. Dad and mom have been speaking with one another and the academics on how we may also help our youngsters to the most effective of our skills.