Navratri is incomplete without Garba and Dandiya
Vidisha Srivastava, actress
Actress Vidisha Srivastava, who plays the role of Anita Bhabhi in Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain, is originally from Varanasi, but has also learned Garba after coming to Mumbai. She says I am from Varanasi. Different forms of mother are worshiped here with full rituals for nine days of Navratri. Mother has been keeping the Kalash in the house for the past many years. Decorating the Kalash and setting it up with worship is my favorite thing during Navratri. I learned Garba and Dandiya by coming to Mumbai.I like garba more, dandiya gets a bit technical. (laughs) The stick hurts his hand. By the way, I have been fond of dancing since childhood. That’s why after coming to Mumbai, I learned Garba by watching people. Initially, when I was trying to learn Garba, I used to do very strange steps, but later it came slowly. There are different types of Garba in our society. I take part in them with great passion. This time too I will definitely play Garba.
Meera Deosthale, Actress
Meera Deosthale, who plays Paridhi in the show Gud Se Meetha Ishq, fondly remembers the Navratri festival of her hometown Baroda. She says, “During school days, we used to wait for Navratri throughout the year. We did not have Garba like in Mumbai. In Mumbai, girls also come to play garba in salwar-kameez, but this is not the case in Baroda, where everyone plays garba wearing chaniya-choli and full jewellery. There is a huge Garba ground in Baroda, where girls get ready by nine o’clock in the night. After this, Garba continues till two o’clock in the night.When we grew up, we had become a complete Garba group. All the girls associated with this used to save their pocket money for Navratri and start shopping a month in advance. We all used to wear different styles of colorful clothes and jewellery every year. Sanedo is my favorite Garba step. In this we used to garba with all our energy. I have also played Dandiya, but I like Garba more. I remember those days very much after coming to Mumbai. Here I am invited as a guest in different festivals. As a guest, I definitely do garba on stage with other people.
Vaishali Thakkar, Actress
Actress Vaishali Thakkar, who played the role of Sarita in the serial Sanjog, has a long association with Garba and Dandiya. She says, there was a property of my aunt in Mumbai. There the Goddess was worshiped every day during Navratri and at night there was traditional Gujarati Garba in the old style to the beat of the dhol. Navratri festival is being organized in my house also for the last many years. Every member of the house had to decide whether he would sing three, five or seven, how many Garba songs during Navratri? There is a book of Garba songs written by my grandmother about 80 years old.Every Navratri we take out that book and my mother and other members sing Garba song from that book in front of Mata Rani. Being from a Gujarati family, Garba is in our blood. I started doing garba from school days and then it is going on even after joining college and TV industry. Once I went to Falguni Pathak’s Garba function, I really liked it. Look luck, the very next year I was called to anchor his function. Very little time is available in Mumbai due to its busy schedule. Nevertheless, on the occasion of Navratri, I definitely go to play Garba with my school friends for a day or two.
Shubhavi Choksi, Actress
Shubhavi Choksi, who plays the role of Nandini in the serial Bade Achhe Lagte Hain 2, is originally from Mangalore. However, being brought up in Mumbai, she has a lot of interest in Garba and Dandiya. She says, being raised in Mumbai, I used to play both Garba and Dandiya, but I like Garba more. As a child, my mother used to make many Chaniya-cholis for me every year during Navratri and also used to wear different jewelery with each Chaniya-choli set. After growing up, I used to go to play Garba-Dandiya with friends, but even then I used to ask my mother what to wear?I have learned this from my parents that even though I am not able to go to the temple due to my busy schedule, I must bow my head in front of God every day in the temple of my house. I do only vegetarian food during Navratri. This time in Navratri, I will eat satvik food. Now due to work, I am only able to devote time to worship, Garba-Dandiya is not possible. Otherwise, we keep doing garba because of getting married in a Gujarati family, whether it is a wedding or a birthday or any other function.