Ganesh Chaturthi is different this year. Thanks to the pandemic, which has thrown a curveball in the celebrations that are associated with Ganeshotsav. And, with the festival underway, veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar also expresses her sadness at the atmosphere in Mumbai, whose streets in pre-pandemic times were brimming with Ganpati pandals and devotees.
“This year, Ganesh Chaturthi is not what it used to be. Earlier, it was an open house at Prabhu Kunj (the Mangeshkar residence on Peddar Road, Mumbai). Since last year, Covid-19 and social distancing have put an end to the stream of visitors at our home during Ganesh Chaturthi. Now, it’s just us family members,” sighed Mangeshkar, who has been in self-isolation since the pandemic began.
The signer, however, understands that these protocols are essential. Mangeshkar said, “It’s the need of the hour, and we must comply with the guidelines. If we insist on community festivity, things will worsen. People celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with their loved ones are indeed lucky. My brother, Hridaynath, my sister-in-law, and my sister, Usha, are with me.”
Mangeshkar feels the world has changed, and people should make their peace with it and practice gratitude for what they have been blessed with by the Lord. “The sooner we accept it, the better. Now is the time to be grateful for all that Ganpati Bappa has given us. Every gesture of kindness and compassion counts. It’s time we stop thinking only about ourselves. Whether it is love or wealth, give generously. Avoid meeting too many people. Stay home and spend time with Bappa,” Mangeshkar added.