Rithvik Dhanjani from ALTBalaji’s Cartel
Navratri is one of the most colourful festivals. When I was in my teenage, we used to look forward to going to Dandiya events. We were from an all-boys school, so that was the only time we could see all the girls (kidding). There was this one ground Avir, in Dubai where all Indians used to gather and play Garba. It was a great experience and a lot of fun. We used to be the best versions of ourselves during Navratri. We used to dance the best, during that time. I haven’t celebrated Navratri for a long time, I miss that for sure. This Navratri I will be working and would request everyone to be safe and take all the necessary precautions.
Amika Shail from ALTBalaji’s Hai Taubba 3
During Navratri, I will be heading home to Kolkata, my hometown, where I will celebrate Durga Puja. It is a five-day commemoration there. Like Navratri is celebrated here with much gusto, Durga Puja in Kolkata is celebrated with the same amount of pomp. Being from Kolkata, I am naturally super pumped about the said occasion and more so as I will be travelling to my hometown Kolkata, which is always fun and I am especially looking forward to feasting on the various delectable the city has to offer. In addition to that, one other thing I am exhilarated about is receiving gifts. During Durga Puja, we usually exchange gifts like new clothes and new shoes with the extended family. This has been a ritual forever. I am immensely excited about wearing mine and heading out to the bustling city during this time. There will be plenty of soirées on occasion, which will go on throughout the night, and being present during these times brings me much joy.
Sushrii Mishraa from ALTBalaji’s Cartel
Navratri has always been a super significant part of my life since I was a little girl. It is very special festival for us Oriyas. I get to meet all my extended family which makes me even more excited. We fast for all the 9 days and we also celebrate. Furthermore, we also organize and serve free meals to people regardless of their religion. It has always been a super fulfilling event in my life, so I am really looking forward to it this year.
Ekavali Khanna from ALTBalaji’s Hai Taubba 3
Navratri or Durga Puja honours and celebrates Goddess Durga and symbolizes the victory of good over Evil. The celebration is spectacular, but what makes it most significant for me is that it reinforces the strength and dominance of various aspects of Shakti as the divine mother. Durga Puja renews me with fresh energy and zest to live an inspired life.
Aabha Paul from ALTBalaji’s Hai Taubba 3
I am really looking forward to Navratri as the festival is immensely close to my heart. I have been observing the Navratri fast since I was in the 8th grade. At first, I had no idea that it was observed twice a year, first on Ram Navami and the second time on Durga Navami, but eventually, once I was made aware of it, I religiously began to observe them both. In fact, during Durga Navami, I also sacrifice my footwear as part of my fast and try to keep my travels to a minimum. I feel quite one with God during these times of the year as I have been observing these rituals for the longest time now. Also, during Navratri, there is a ritual wherein there is a particular colour for each day of Navratri, respectively. People adorn themselves in attires according to the colour of the day. This is one ritual I really take pleasure in. In addition to that, I also clean and decorate my house for the upcoming festive season and find solace in conducting daily prayers during this time. I am especially jovial during Navratri and eagerly looking forward to the oncoming celebrations.
Saba Saudagar from ALTBalaji’s Booo Sabki Phategi
This year following COVID-19 norms, I will celebrate it as per whatever the rules are set—not go for dandiya nights for sure because it’s better to be cautious than regret. I will attend Navratri Aarti at Durga Temple as I feel a different connection with Maa Durga. Like it is a beautiful festival simply because the divinity could be felt in the air when Navratri is around. Also, the dandiya nights make it even more joyous and celebratory. Getting dressed into different attire for each night of Navratri is a different kind of excitement. The Colors, the music, the dance, the Aarti that takes place every night, everything is so mesmerizing.
Pooja Banerjee from ALTBalaji’s Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain
I miss celebrating Durga Puja a lot. I used to meet all my family members during this time, both from my mother’s side and my Baba’s side as well. But now, I haven’t met them for so long, especially all the elder family members, as they are at high risk. I will celebrate Durga Puja this year by making Payesh, Kosha Mangsho and Gobing Bhog at home, which are my favourite delicacies that I enjoy the most during Durga Pujo. We have our family members Durga Puja in Delhi, so we will be just going live with them and will be part of all the rituals virtually.