Ganesh special series: Tusshar Kapoor talks about fun, food and modaks
A kheer and chana-puri bhog supervised by his mother, gorging on modaks, and loads of positivity is how Tusshar Kapoor remembers the Ganesh festival of his childhood
Actor Tusshar Kapoor is a hands-on father is what we realise when he shares his schedule for the day till sunset — he picks up his two-year-old son Laksshya from playschool and then has lunch with him, which is followed by a play date in Bandra. As a single father, Kapoor believes in being wholly there for his son and encouraging him to take family traditions forward, one of which is celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi.
For 45 years, the Kapoor family has been bringing Ganpati home. Sister Ekta gets an idol to her residence too. "My dad started the tradition before I was born. As a kid, I remember how all his friends who lived close by would drop in — Rakesh Roshan ji, Rishi Kapoor ji, Prem Chopra ji, all my building friends, and his friends from his old home in Girgaum. It was more of a close-friends-and-family event," says Kapoor, and adds, "As a child, the festival was entertainment for me. There was a lot of hulchul in the house, and we would look forward to coming home after school for the aarti. It was not a quiet affair, but one of lots of lights, fun and positivity. And then there was food and modaks. I used to look forward to the modaks because throughout the year, we would only have peda or barfi and other such sweets. It used to be a typical Mumbaiya Ganeshotsav at home."
Kapoor also shares that as children, the siblings didn't have any responsibilities given to them around the festival and they would just say or do what their parents asked them to. The time was so hectic at home that he only started going to pandals after he became an actor. It was only three years ago that his father, veteran actor Jeetendra, passed on the responsibility of the daily aarti to Kapoor. "Dad does the visarjan, too. For bhog, we make typical dishes such as puri-chana and kheer, and a special lunch buffet on the day of the visarjan. Mom oversees all the preparations, starting from where the idol will be placed to the menu for the five days, especially the special Indian buffet on the day of visarjan. Ekta is more religious than all of us. She looks into the celebrations here and at her home, too [which is a one-day Ganpati affair]," says the actor.
For the five days that the idol is at home, the family doesn't eat non-vegetarian food or consume alcohol in the house. They also follow the traditional method of decoration, which is done in the mode of a puja once the idol is welcomed into the house. "But there are no rules; my parents are pretty chilled out. Today, it's more of faith and emotion than religion and superstition for us. It also makes us feel more connected with the culture of our country," says Kapoor, adding that for the last six years, the family has been getting an eco-friendly idol from S Korgaonkar Ganesh Chitra Shala in Girgaum.
He also tells us that he developed a liking for the festival thanks to his family's celebrations each year, and hopes that his son follows suit. "Laksshya will have to continue the family tradition and celebrate Ganpati every year, not because I will compel him to but because it's a family tradition. When I am not there, he will hopefully carry the tradition forward. But I think that his generation will be more eco-friendly than us — they won't follow rituals blindly. He is vocal, curious and active, and though he can get a bit shy in a crowd, he is social in his own way. He says 'jai' when he sees an idol. Laksshya is more like my father — he is spontaneous, restless, and does not sit and brood. I am the over-thinker in the family. So my son has the best of the both of us," the actor signs off.
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