Ira Dubey: Ganpati in Delhi is calmer… can never find this peace in Mumbai!


Every Mumbaikar knows what it’s like to miss the masti and mania of Ganeshotsav in the city. Actor Ira Dubey also felt the same until she visited the old Maharashtra Sadan, on Copernicus Marg, along with HT City! “I had set aside a few dresses to wear for Ganpati this time, and since I’ve been travelling for my play, I was rather sad thinking I won’t be able to attend the mega festival of Ganpati in Mumbai this year since I needed to be here. But I’m glad I could visit a Ganpati pandal in Delhi, and at such a time that it was a lot quieter and peaceful,” says Ira, who is in the Capital for her theatrical production Mummy’s Dead, Long Live Mummy!

Ira Dubey visits the Ganpati pandal inside old Maharashtra Sadan on Copernicus Marg in Mandi House.(Manoj Verma/HT)
Ira Dubey visits the Ganpati pandal inside old Maharashtra Sadan on Copernicus Marg in Mandi House.(Manoj Verma/HT)

‘Delhi’s Ganeshotsav is quieter, peaceful’

The actor who has worked in films such as Aisha (2010) and the web series Potluck, shares, “I found Delhi’s Ganpati darshan rather powerful for me. It is much quieter and peaceful here, and one can sit with one’s own thoughts. This is something I can never find in Mumbai because when one thinks of Ganpati in Mumbai, the first word that comes to the mind is mania! It’s rather one of the biggest festivals in Maharashtra and the atmosphere for a week or even 10 days before it is like a frenzy.”

‘No Ganpati without modaks’

Ira Dubey confesses her love for Delhi food as she relishes lassi and modaks at Bengali Sweet House & Pastry Shop at Bengali Market in Mandi House. (Manoj Verma/HT)
Ira Dubey confesses her love for Delhi food as she relishes lassi and modaks at Bengali Sweet House & Pastry Shop at Bengali Market in Mandi House. (Manoj Verma/HT)

Ira, who is a self-confessed fan of chocolates when it comes to sweets, shares how tough it’s for her to deal with her sweet tooth during festivals. “I think I’ve inherited it from my father (Ravi Dubey),” she says, adding, “I was a chocolate person and my indulgence in Indian sweets began only due to my father. I love jalebi and besan ka laddoo and even modaks. Modaks have just the same look and feel of a laddoo, but the cute shape of this prasad tempts me because there’s just no Ganpati without modaks!”

For the love of Dilli ka khana

Having spent most of her time in Mumbai, Delhi’s food is at the top of the list of things that Ira misses from her home town. “Visiting India Gate for an ice cream is something that every Delhiite can relate to, and I still miss it every time I’m in the city,” she says, adding, “I’ve always loved having chaat at Bengali Market… It’s like a food I miss from home because that’s definitely not something I cannot find in Mumbai. Even if I find it there, the taste just doesn’t match. So that’s one thing I’d surely take for my friends back in Mumbai, from my forever home, which is Delhi because after all I might be a Mumbai woman, through and through, but I’ll always be a Delhi girl.”

‘Capital’s theatre culture has evolved’

Belonging to a lineage of theatre actors, and having worked extensively with her mother, Lillete Dubey, Ira feels the Capital’s theatre scene has evolved over the years. “I’ve been actively pursuing theatre since almost two decades now,” she reminisces, and adds, “When I was growing up, I remember how there used to be two very strong worlds of theatre in Delhi. One was the Hindi theatre tradition and the other was the English theatre tradition; the latter was mostly about adaptations of plays. But, today that has all changed. When it comes to English theatre now, people in the Delhi circuit are writing with more originality. The theatre experience have also become more immersive, and has even acquired a young approach. This which is why it has become more prominent now. Even in Hindi theatre, the good part is that now performances are also not just limited to Kamani Auditorium or Siri Fort Auditorium as people are choosing to perform at pubs, open theatres, and anywhere they get to express their art form.”

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