No Durga Puja for me this year : Mouni Roy
This year, the festive season isn’t what many of us have been experiencing over the years. Restrictions due to the pandemic have led to festivals being celebrated in a low-key manner or at a personal level and not in public. Celebrating Durga Puja every year is a must for Mouni Roy but due to the pandemic, she knows the celebrations in 2020 won’t be as usual. “I won’t be celebrating Durga Puja this year. It feels strange as it will be the first time that I won’t be. But it’s the need of the hour. I will have a small puja at home as I believe that Maa lives in all of us. Considering the current times, it would be better not to go to pandals this year or mingle in big crowds as it wouldn’t be safe. Hopefully, if everything clears up next year, we will celebrate the festival with double gusto,” says the London Confidential actor, who will return to India soon.
Roy admits that she will majorly miss the Anjali, the bhog, all the planning about each puja day, discussion on which pandals to visit and spending time with family. She recalls, “There is a gondho (smell) of pujo in West Bengal that I will miss the most. When the preps are going on, huge trucks carry the Durga murtis in different roops and pass by your home during all hours of the day and there is a scent in the air which is indescribable. I love the pujo food, especially khichadi and labra, wearing lovely saris and meeting extended family and friends.”
The actor has been away from Mumbai since March this year and has been living in UAE. She describes the experience of staying away from her country a new one. “I had never been away for so long at a stretch before and never thought of doing so either. It is what life is about which can surprise and shock you but is full of experiences,” she shares.
Travelling during a pandemic can be quite a task and after multiple flights that Roy has been on in the past few months, she says you sometimes have to embrace uncertainties and move ahead. She went to London to shoot for a digital film and later to Maldives to celebrate her birthday. “I went to UAE in March and back then there was no lockdown though there were Covid-19 cases, so the travel was as usual. Later, flying from Abu Dhabi to London and back was a bit fearful. Empty airports, sceptical people, nervous energy all over, but that is bound to happen as these are trying times. I guess all is well that ends well. I took every precaution every step of the way. And now I am 8 or 9 swab tests down since I left Abu Dhabi. Traveling is painful and uneasy but I wanted to do it as I wanted to work. I wanted to be back on a set and in hindsight, I am glad I took that decision and went to London to shoot.”.