By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Salman Khan's family is known for being secular. A fact reinforced by the celebration of Ganeshotsav at Salim and Salman Khan's home at Galaxy Apartments.
It is one event that has been happening with regularity for the last four years. Here's a peep into what goes on at the Khan household during Ganpati:
It was Arpita, the youngest of the Khan siblings, who first brought the elephant god home. Says Arpita, "It all started when I asked dad (Salim Khan) if we could celebrate Ganpati at home.
Dad said okay and since then we have been celebrating Ganpati at home for the last four years I have always been inclined towards Ganeshji. He is my favourite God and I have been going to Siddhivinayak every Tuesday, for the last eight years.
But being a Muslim family, haven't people commented on the Khans celebrating a Hindu festival? Says Arpita, "They do ask but then we have always been a secular family.
Mom (Salma) is a Hindu, Helen aunty is a Christian, Malaika (married to Arbaaz) is a Catholic Hindu while Seema (married to Sohail) is a Punjabi. Religion has never been an issue at our home. We all follow our own religion."
Though only 18 years of age, Arpita is very particular about the arrangements. "I go myself and select the Ganpati murti from a place opposite the Bandra Talao. We celebrate for one-and-a-half day and during that time I never leave home.
We have a pandit come over two times a day to for the aarti. Yesterday night, we had gone for visarjan. Normally, mom, friends and whoever is at Galaxy come for our visarjan." This year too, like the others Arpita has personally done the decorations herself.
In the period that Ganesha resides in their home, the Khan family trades in their kebabs for khichdi, "We become vegetarians in the Ganpati season. We prepare the traditional sweets like modaks and other prasad. And we hire a south Indian caterer to prepare dishes like idlis, dosas, panipuris and sevpuris, which we all relish."
Arpita says her three star brothers: Salman, Sohail and Arbaaz too encourage and support her devotion for Ganesha. "Every year, they celebrate Ganpati with the same enthusiasm and fervour and participate in all the poojas and rituals, but unfortunately this year all three are in London." Salman is doing the Rockstar 2 shows while Sohail has accompanied him as one of the organisers.
This year, like most others, Arpita will also be seen visiting good friend, Arjun's mother, Mona Kapoor's Ganpati festival at her Future Studios in Goregaon. "I will be visiting her but after my one and a half days puja is over. She celebrates for 11 days."
What more can we say to that except Ganpati Bappa Morya!
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