It’s a subdued Ganesh Chaturthi this year at the legendary singer the late Mukesh’s residence. Mukesh’s son Nitin Mukesh, himself an accomplished singer, and Nitin’s son actor Neil Nitin Mukesh are keeping the festivities lowkey this year.
Says Neil, “Like last year, this year we've got an eco-friendly Ganesha home. The festivities have begun, though we miss the constant flow of guests this year. My mother this year has one more helping hand, my daughter Nurvi, who is very excited for the arrival of her favorite Bappa! For us at the Mukesh home, Ganesh Chaturthi is more than a festival. It is a part of our being. This year we celebrate the 27th year of Him coming home. Yes, believe it or not ours has been an open house for Ganesh Chaturthi every year for the last 27 years, with friends, well-wishers, relatives and strangers dropping in just like that.”
The pandemic has changed the volume of festivity.
Says Neil, “As always we are very happy and excited for the celebrations. But like last year this year also we are refraining from the usual scale at which we celebrate. Though we have started getting calls from friends and family who are religious believers and followers of Ganesh ji at our home and want to visit, we will be limiting it to only immediate family and very close friends . Keeping everyone in our heart and prayers and hoping they forgive us. We pray for everyone's good health and hope to celebrate next year like we always did.”
Neil’s father, singer Nitin Mukesh has mixed feelings about Ganesh Chaturthi this year. “Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important season of the year for us. The Mukesh parivaar looks forward to this time of the year. We spend the whole year preparing for Lord Bappa to come home.A lot of the joy of having Ganesha home is gone because of the pandemic. We miss the constant flow of guests that used to be a part of the celebration.”
There is one special guest whom Nitin Mukesh misses the most. “My friend, my brother Chintu, Rishi Kapoor! He was one of the first to come home to celebrate with us. In 26 years of Ganesh Chaturthi, Chintu didn’t miss even one. I remember one year when he was not in town. He landed in Mumbai and drove straight to our home at the other end of Mumbai. When I told him he shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble, Chintu said, 'Ganesh Mahotsava at your home is my time of festivity too. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.' Now Chintu is gone. But look at the coincidence. The pandemic has kept all guests out.”
Image Source: Instagram/neilnitinmukesh