Modaks, pujas & pandals highlights execs’ Ganesh Chaturthi

By Papri Das

It’s that time of the year again when Mumbai decks up like a new bride and Mumbaikars rejoice in festive fervour to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. And that means that even the media industry, which otherwise works 24x7 be it rain or shine, are allowed to take a tiny break. They make the most of it by taking this opportunity to reconnect to their roots in the city and join in the season’s flavour.

Exec Lifestyle caught up with five media professionals from distinctive fields in Mumbai to find out their plans for the day, what they anticipate the most on Ganesh Chaturthi and their favourite Puja hubs in the city.

Find out more…

Samir Kochhar (Actor and Max’s Extraaa Innings T20 host)

Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival of fun and celebrations with family. Since childhood this day is meant for a get together of everyone who come to our beautifully decorated home for the worship of the Ganesh Idol. The yummy modaks have always remained a highlight of this day for me. My favourite Ganesh Puja in the city has to be at the Girgaum Ganesh Pandal, off JSS Road. We've been going there since childhood, so there are fond memories attached to that place. Also the fervour and celebration at this Pandal are quite grand and beautifully done, which add to the festive feel in the city.

Josy Paul (BBDO India chairman and chief creative officer)

Lord Ganesha has been an intricate part of my life. I always look for different artistic renditions and impressions of Ganesha – like I saw this beautiful creation made with the hibiscus flower. I like listening to the Ganesha aarti song - "jaidev jaidev jai mangal murti” and have been religiously playing it in the morning. In the evening, I walk from Worli to Bandra (about 8 kms) on my way home from work, just to feel the energy in the air – I stop at different points to feel the vibrations at various street side Ganapati mandals.

When it comes to my favourite Puja in the city, it's the Ganapati Mandal in Mumbai Central in the colony that I grew up in. It takes me back to the time I was in school. It's so nostalgic. On the final immersion day, I go out and embrace the crowd. The frenzy and collective excitement of the city gives me so much energy it just increases my love for Mumbai and the people.

Rohan Rane (9x Jhakaas programming head) 

Ganpati is completely family time.The preparations being a week in advance where we decorate our Ganpati mandir with lights and colourful decorations. On the other hand, my mom makes the most delicious modaks as "Naivadhya" - an offering to lord Ganesh.

My morning begins with Ganpati puja with my family and relatives followed by singing aarti. Once the aarti is over, it is the time to relish the most sought after modaks. After a lavish calorie full lunch of shrikhand puri, we set out for Ganesh darshan at friends and relatives place. This is the time when the entire family comes together for prayer and celebrations. We thoroughly bond, pray and enjoy the festival.

Samir Saraiya (That’s Personal CEO and founder)

Being in Mumbai and not participating in Ganesh Chaturthi is a shame. Therefore, I take a step back from work and enjoy the occasion with friends, families and all my office colleagues. We hold a puja in our office, which is where most of my time goes in. It is fun to plan, prepare and spend a different day with my employees and hang out with them not like a boss but as a friend. The highlight of my Ganesh Chaturthi has always been Dance Ganesha. It’s a unique way in which Ganesha Visarjan is celebrated in Breach Candy. I have been a regular at the event without fail every year.

Anooj Kapoor (Sab TV senior EVP & business head)

It is amazing how the entire city comes alive on these ten odd days. I cherish the atmosphere of the festival and have been actively taking part in it, be it in family or at our society. I don't often go Pandal visiting during the puja, but visit my friends who host pujas at their home. I look forward to the various cultural activities that are organised by our society and try to contribute to it as much as possible, maybe in organising skits for kids and other fun activities. This year too I will be heavily engaged in cultural activities and the day after the puja, I will be hosting a dinner party at my place for the entire society as part of the celebrations

On that note, and Exec Lifestyle wishes readers a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi! Ganpati Bappa Morya!

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