Pashmina Roshan: We don’t follow the visarjan tradition at our house; Ganpati simply visits us.
Pashmina Roshan discusses the significance of the Ganesh festival in her life.
Bappa is here, keeping an eye on us. That is the mood that has engulfed Pashmina Roshan during the Ganesh Utsav. Everyone celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi in their own unique way, and for Pashmina, this is her favorite time of year because it allows her to pause and thank Ganpati for everything in her life.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a celebration that we have always observed. My family has been doing this since long before I was born. “We are firm believers in Lord Ganesha, and we are eternally grateful for the blessings and this beautiful life he has bestowed upon us,” Pashmina explains.
Pashmina, like other people who welcome Ganesha on the first day of the festival and perform immersion on days they choose, says her family’s celebrations are a little different than typical.
“We do not follow the visarjan tradition.” Ganpatiji is constantly present in the mandir. “On his birthday, we bring him out into the hall, throw him a big party, celebrate, and then unhe phir se mandir mein sthapit kiya jaata hai,” she explains, “and we keep things very traditional.” My favorite part is that no one ever leaves Ganpatiji alone; someone must always be present (with him). This becomes even more wonderful at night, when we have to sleep in the same room as Ganpatiji, give him milk, and just sit with him in tranquility by the diya light.”
When asked about the festival preparations, the 27-year-old says it all starts weeks in advance. “Everyone participates, and since we’ve been celebrating Ganpati for years, we’ve pretty much got the routine down pat.” Everyone has a specific duty, but we all report to the same person: my mum (laughs). “She’s in charge of overseeing everything, and I’ve learned everything from her,” Pashmina says, adding, “while my mother designs the clothing, mandap, and jewelry for Ganpati ji.” The flowers are in my charge. We get up at 4 a.m. and head to Siddhivinayak temple and Dadar market to acquire our blossoms, and after weaving them into ladis, we begin adorning our home.This is when I let my creativity run wild, creating floral rangolis in various places of the house.”
Pashmina, speaking about her special relationship with the festival, adds that while she is grateful all year, it is accentuated during the festival. “And it’s everything, not just one thing.” Everything is lit up. And just like life, it’s always the tiny things—the shared chuckles, the twinkle in everyone’s eyes — that make you go, ‘Ah, Bappa is here; he’s watching over us’. “That means a lot,” she exclaims.