Pratik Gandhi shifted to Mumbai 20 years back from Gujarat, and the memories of celebrating Navratri has blurred a little. But the actor is planning to visit his hometown this year to relive the cherished memories of his childhood. “I am planning to go to Surat for at least a couple of days for Navratri because the vibrant atmosphere and energy there during this time is unparalleled,” he shares.
Gandhi reminisces about the unique charm of garba and dandiya nights in Surat, which differs significantly from the events held in Mumbai. “These traditional dance forms are deeply rooted in the culture. The spirit of unity and joy is very different as people come together to play garba and worship. I don’t remember buying tickets to go to these events. Chote shehron mein aise festivals ka alag maza hota hai. Waha har din ka alag khaana hota hai, bazaaro mein jaakar kapde khareedne ka maza hota hai” he shares. While Mumbai undoubtedly hosts grand celebrations during Navratri, Gandhi feels that it lacks the organic charm and authenticity that he associates with his hometown. “In Mumbai, garba and dandiya nights have taken on a more commercialised approach. It more about purchasing passes for attending organised events rather than experiencing the authentic essence of these traditional dances,” he shares.
And this is something that bothers him. “I sometimes feel that my daughter won’t be able to experience the same cultural richness that I did as a child,” he points out. And that’s why, The Scam 1992 actor makes sure that he teach his daughter the meaning of these festivals, the rituals and it’s significance. “She is a child of this generation who needs a proper scientific explanation for everything. Hence I have to read up and explain why we fast during the Navratras, why we avoid eating non-vegetarian food during this season, why is Dusshera celebrated and more. And I am sure this visit to Gujarat will give her an experience of what I have seen while growing up. I want her to learn these things and understand why we do what we do,” he says.
When in Mumbai, the celebrations are usually about going to Dandiya nights. “There are several friends of mine who perform during Navratra. So I visit them and attend the events with family. Apart from that, we go pandal hopping and spend time together at home. But there is one thing we do every year with utmost faith. “Humaare ghar me 9 din tak akahand diya jaalaya jaata hai and we all make sure it’s done in a proper way, “ he ends