Celebrate Ganeshotsav keeping nature in mind: Neetu Singh

Thursday, 28 August 2014 - 6:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Neetu Singh lauds DNA's initiative to promote eco-friendly Ganpati festival

I have been celebrating Ganpati festival in our Krishna Raj bungalow for the last 30 years. My father-in-law used to celebrate it in a big way at RK Studios, my mother-in-law Mrs Krishna Kapoor and sister-in-law Rima Jain celebrate it at their homes for 11 days. I usually visit them after visarjan at my home is over.

When I started 30 years ago, I did it for one-and-a-half day because I didn't know what to do. But now we celebrate Ganpati at home for five days. It's so wonderful – we go shopping for decorations and flowers. We make 11 rice modaks at home every morning, traditionally prepared for the idol as prasad and rest of modaks we buy from the market. We like to keep Bappa happy and entertained so there are a lot of festivities, food and music going on at home for the five days.

Chintu (Rishi Kapoor) is highly religious, much more than me. He prays twice a day and does Shivji puja every Monday. Ranbir is like me. We respect and love God. Our daughter Riddhima is like Chintu. For the last couple of years, she has been coming down to Mumbai to celebrate Ganpati with her daughter as she wants her to learn the culture.

I believe in eco-Ganpati. For many years I have been bringing clay Ganpati idols though it's bit risky as they can break easily. I believe that people should have ponds to immerse the idols rather than the sea. It breaks my heart to see the idols after visarjan lying around in the sand, with their legs and arms sticking out, where anybody can trample on them. We can do puja, immerse the idols in our own compounds and then keep them at home. Why put them into the sea forever? Of course, my husband won't listen to that (laughs). He's like 'jo hai so hai!' It's a ritual and we should follow it.

I appreciate DNA's initiative for eco-Ganpati. That's the way everybody should do it. Eco-Ganpati is the answer to our environmental problems and will lead to its preservation. Ganpati festival is getting bigger every year with almost every house celebrating it. The mess is also getting bigger so we have to think where will all this lead to in10-15 years. We have to think logically and practically for the environment too and not just emotionally.

—As told to Upala KBR

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