Ganeshotsav is the most prominent festival of Maharashtra. And Mumbai, being the capital city of the State has a very strong essence of Marathi culture. Ganesh idols are brought in almost every household in the city. Lord Ganesha is very central to the Marathi culture, the mores of the native Marathis. Celebrated over a span of ten days, the festival of Ganesha paints the entire city of Mumbai in tints and shades of various colors. There is mirth, festivities and life filled in. Pandals are set up in every nook and corner. To a layman, non-Maharashtrian, the festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi has been witnessed only in Bollywood movies. This has also set a new trend of having eco-friendly Ganeshas in the city. Mostly shot in Mumbai, a lot of Bollywood movies cover the local culture vastly, especially encapsulating the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi which is the primary element and epitome of Marathi culture.
Another movie Agneepath starring Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt which was released earlier in 2016 shows a beautiful life size large image of Ganesha. The chants clear, the aarti shot almost serenely leaves in the audiences a very pious image and feel of a typical Maharshtrian Ganesh Chaturthi. In the movie, the festival marks a crucial cue to delve deeper into the plot and was immensely important as well as significant. A beautifully pious picturization of the song “Deva Shree Ganesha” fills the audience with faith on the diety.
Salman Khan starrer “Wanted”(2009) which shot him to instant sans-Rajnikanth-of-Bollywood fame has an elaborate celebration scene of Ganesh Chathurti celebrations. Salman’s dance moves in the procession became very popular in the usual celebrations and festivities, especially the procession of Ganesha festival. The song “Tera Hi Jalwa” became immensely popular making the whole nation dance. The local people replicated it to perfection and even improvising on his moves, making the procession more lively and vivacious.
Don – The Chase begins Again (2006)
Our memory dates back to the significant scene in the Shah Rukh Khan starring movie “Don” (2006) where Shah Rukh is seen playing Dhol for the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The song “Maurya Re” became very popular. This movie was a reinvention of the Amitabh Bachchan starring “Don” of the 1970s. The Marathi culture factor of the movie was highlighted strongly with the help of Ganeshotsav. Lord Ganesh is symbolic to signify elements of Marathi culture. Also Ganesha implicates prosperity and peace, which is revered in the world of chaos. The chants of “Ganpati Bppa Morya” is to convey that no matter what is going wrong in the world, peace shall prevail in the end.
Religion in Bollywood is very quintessential. Bringing home the idol and praying, making local sweets, dancing in the procession are all factors which have been covered in a multitude of Bollywood movies in detail. The religion of the actor has nothing to do with Ganeshotsav. In both reel and real lives, actors of diverse religions come together to celebrate the festival. Mostly their personal experience of living locally in Mumbai, and witnessing the festivities first hand, come handy in creating a better role image.
Bollywood and Ganesh Chaturthi have symbiotically enriched each other. While movies have used the symbol of Ganesha and his festival to create a feel of local culture and making interesting climaxes of a myriad movies, Bollywood has taught local people how to improvise on celebrations, making it more interesting and larger than life. Courtesy Bollywood, in the end, the entire nation knows the feeling behind “Ganpati Bappa Morya”.
You can leave your wishes for your favorite Bollywood celebrity on Ganeshotsav right here.