Illuminating puja pandals, dazzling lights, majestic gates and huge tableaus- that’s when you realize that Durga Puja is round the corner! The festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, marks the welcome of Goddess Durga on earth. From commoners and politicians to celebrities, everyone basks in the festive fervor and glory. When common people leave no stone unturned to make their Durga Puja celebrations a memorable one, how can our celebrities stay far behind? We caught up with a few celebrities who shared with us their Durga Puja plans and how they are looking forward to immerse themselves in the festive season. The excerpts….
Ardhendu Sundar Sahu (Film Actor)
Durga Puja plans this season: Every year, I make it a point not to miss the Durga Puja celebrations in my hometown Berhampur. So, this year won’t be any exception. Round the year I was busy in shoots and promotions. Hence I will take a break during Durga Puja and soak myself in the festive revelry.
Any fond memories of Durga Puja: I have grown up watching Durga Puja celebrations in my father’s business unit. My father used to say how as a child, I used to involve myself in the celebrations by decorating the puja hall, distributing sweets to the employees, taking photographs, etc.
Durga Puja tips: Durga Puja is the best time to splurge on anything you wish to. Indulge in fun activities with your friends or family as there is no burden or work pressure during Puja season.
Jyotiprakash Panda (TV Actor)
Durga Puja plans this season: I will be traveling back to my hometown in Balasore after a gap of three months. I am looking forward to spending some ‘me’ time with family and friends. This time around, I have plans to visit every pandal and enjoy the festive fervor to the fullest.
Any fond memories of Durga Puja: I remember secretly accompanying my friends for pandal hopping during childhood when my only focus was on gorging street food and taking rides.
Durga Puja tips: Spend quality time with your family, near and dear ones. Take them on a secret trip or a nearby destination!
Riya Nanda (Celebrity Anchor)
Durga Puja plans this season: With Durga Puja round the corner, I am more than happy to celebrate it with my family and in-laws. I feel blessed that my birthday falls on Durga astami so this time I expect double the fun and celebration like every year. I can’t wait to see the beautiful pandals adorning the city and of course I cannot afford to miss the ‘Dandiya’ fun with my friends!
Any fond memories of Durga Puja: As a kid, my parents used to take me and my twin sister along with them to explore all the puja pandals in Balasore on a Bajaj scooter. That used to be a special moment for me! Winning the ‘Prettiest Dandiya Dancer’ award at Mayfair last year was equally memorable.
Durga Puja tips: Maa Durga always brings positivity, energy and power with her. So all women should never stop dreaming in life. Life is like a celebration. Enjoy Durga Puja like there is no tomorrow.
Sabyasachi Satpathy (Big Boss 11 fame)
Durga Puja plans this season: Come Durga Puja and I am never able to keep calm. Everywhere you find colours, lights, sweets, good food and clothes! So this time around, the only plan is to have fun, pray for world peace and happiness, good health and wealth for myself, my parents and loved ones!
Any fond memories of Durga Puja: Though there are quite a many, I love celebrating Durga Puja at Shivranjani in Mumbai which is organized by Mrs Neelam Mukherji (wife of veteran actor Late Mr. Joy Mukherji) as I get to meet many celeb friends and family. So from sasthi till visarjan, we have a gala time always!
Durga Puja tips: Meet all your old friends and family, spend quality time and make wonderful memories. Eat well, dress well and stay happy. Pray MAA for world peace and happiness.
Antara Chakrabarty (Ollywood singer)
Durga Puja plans this season: Being a Bengali, Durga Puja is our major festival. Every year, we bring home Maa Durga’s idol and worship her. This year will be no different. My cousins and relatives would be visiting my place and I’m excited to spend time with them.
Any fond memories of Durga Puja: In 2016, I had a show in U.S. There were some visa issues and I was unsure whether I could travel to U.S. or not. So I sought Maa Durga’s help and with her divine blessings, I could travel safely to U.S. The following year I was offered another show in U.S during Durga Puja but I refused as I wanted to celebrate the festival with my family and seek Maa Durga’s blessings.
Durga Puja tips: Puja season comes once in a year. So keep aside all your professional assignments and do not miss out on anything- from pandal hopping, shopping to spending time with family!
Kailash Chandra Kar (Stand-up Comedy artist)
Durga Puja plans this season: I am excited that my film Prem Kumar is releasing during Durga Puja. Also, I have a handful of stage shows across Odisha. Though I regret that I won’t be able to spend time with family, I have planned to take an extended break after Dussehra and visit my village Sahadevpur in Cuttack district.
Any fond memories of Durga Puja: I remember, as a small kid I used to cry a lot at home to take me along for pandal hopping. But when I stayed in Cuttack, I was a part of several Durga Puja Committees and we used to enjoy the immersion process with friends like anything.
Durga Puja tips: Enjoy the Puja season to the fullest. Forget all your worries, tension, past enemity and spread happiness and love around. Do not forget to watch films in the theater especially my film Prem Kumar starring Anubhav Mohanty in the lead. (Laughs)