Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi Bollywood style!

Mumbai, Sep 7 (IANS) From Salman Khan to Urmila Matondkar to Nana Patekar - the Mumbai film fraternity celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with traditional fervour and zeal. They sang praises of the most widely worshipped deity of the tinsel town, Lord Ganesha.

Salman observed the festival in a magnanimous way. In spite of various professional commitments, he took three days off to celebrate the festival with his family and friends.

The actor says: "We have been celebrating the festival for a long time and this is the occasion when all our family members come together to celebrate it in a big way. We bring Ganapati to our home for three days and I feel a special power in His presence."

Salman has even vowed to abstain from alcohol for a month for the festival and the holy month of Ramadan.

Alok Mathur, Salman's spokesperson, said: "Salman took the decision of abstaining from alcohol for a month on the day when he brought the Ganapati idol to his home. The decision was taken due to the festival and the holy month of Ramadan."

Nana, known to be a staunch Maharashtrian, is a strong believer in Lord Ganesha. He too took break from all his shooting assignments for 10 days to observe the festival with complete devotion and dedication.

"Nana is very particular about the Ganapati festival. Every year he brings the deity home and performs the 'puja', 'aarti' and other rituals himself," a close relative of the actor told IANS.

He also informed that Nana takes a lot of interest in all the activities which includes even distributing the "prasad" (offering).

Urmila too celebrated the festival despite a busy shooting schedule. She got up early in the morning, performed rituals, made 'modaks' and helped her mother in doing other household works.

The actress said: "I normally avoid shooting during the festival unless and until it is unavoidable."

Apart from Salman, Nana and Urmila, other actors too celebrated the festival but at the same time they carried on with their work.

Item girl Rakhi Sawant, who is considered to be one of the staunch believers of Ganesha, has gone back to work after taking a short break.

When contacted, Rakhi's secretary said she is busy in a shoot. On being asked about her observing the festival, he said: "They have brought Ganapati home for a one-and-a-half-day and now she is back to work."

He said now she will be working regularly except for the last day when the deity will be immersed.

Well-known Marathi actor Ashok Saraf, known as the harassed father of five daughters in the popular comedy serial "Hum Paanch", said: "We don't bring Ganapati to our home but observe the festival with sanctity and belief. We completely follow vegetarian diet during the festival and also do the other rituals adhering to the practice."

As far as his work is concerned, Saraf said: "If there is any call, I go to work during the festival. It is not a break for me."

Actor Dilip Prabhawalkar, who played Gandhi in "Lage Raho Munna Bhai", informed that he too is shooting for a film.

He said: "I am shooting. I have no reservations on working during the festival."

Amruta Khanvilkar, who was recently seen in Ram Gopal Varma's "Phoonk", is busy shooting for a film overseas. When contacted her mother said: "She is out of the country for a shoot and will be returning on Sep 13."

About Amruta's involvement in the festival, her mother said: "Ganapati is brought every year to our home at Pune where we go and celebrate together. She used to participate in cultural activities during the festival when she was a student in Pune. But now since a few years, she is too busy in her shooting assignments to participate in similar type of cultural activities."

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