MUMBAI: From stage dramas depicting the stories of Ramayana to the burning of huge effigies of demons like Ravan to magnificent fairs, Dussehra is a time when people celebrate the victory of good over evil. Popular television actors recollect how they celebrated the festival.
'Pushpa Impossible' actress Garima Parihar said: "On this day, we get a chance to spend time with our family as we are not shooting. I love how everybody makes the effort to create effigies of Raavan. I love visiting melas and I love watching large effigies of Raavan, eating ladoos, badam halwa, and many more sweets."
Explaining the importance of the festival, she said: "This festival signifies the power of good over evil. No matter what the situations are, always choose to be a good soul. I deeply believe in good deeds. If you have to fear somebody, fear God as he will never let you do anything bad. Do good and you shall see good. You attract what you give out."
Srishty Rode of 'The Kapil Sharma Show' said: "Dussehra is a very positive day as it marks the victory of good over evil. As a child, I used to be very excited about this day. My friends and I would dress up in kurtas and pyjamas, go pandal hopping, and end our day by witnessing Ravan Dehan."
"My mother would cook a variety of delicacies for us to savour. This year, I plan to celebrate the day with my family and friends and have a good time with my loved ones."
Vidisha Srivastava of 'Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain' fondly recalls the fervour with which the festival is celebrated in her hometown Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
"'Ravan Dahan' is an important part of the Dussehra celebrations in Uttar Pradesh. The tower of Ravana is set on fire by Lord Rama and this event is held at different places in the state, depicting the victory of good over evil. 'Ram Leela' is also staged on a grand scale in prominent locations throughout the city."
"Actors, dressed as Lord Ram, Lakshman, and Hanuman, use audio-visual devices to perform the epic saga, and the audience cheers for them as they eliminate the idols of Ravana, Kumbhakaran, and Meghnath," she added.
For TV actress Neha Joshi, the first thing that comes to mind when the festival is mentioned is how her mother puts marigold toran (decorative door hanging) on the door of their house.
"We begin the day by receiving blessings from our elders and then distributing Apta leaves as part of the Dussehra festivities. Apta leaves symbolise gold, and they are given to friends, relatives, and neighbours to wish them a happy occasion."
"My Aai (mother) always has marigold 'toran' at the entrance to our homes. And it's no surprise that festive delicacies like Puran Poli(a popular Maharashtrian sweet flatbread made with wheat flour and sweetened chana dal stuffing) usually is an integral part of my family's Dussehra celebrations."
Abhinav Kapoor of 'Bade Achhe Lagte Hain 2' recalls celebrating the festival and visiting pandals during his childhood days.
"Dussehra is a festival that I absolutely enjoy. I remember as kids, we used to roam around in our town from one pandal to another and enjoy the festive atmosphere. During Dussehra we used to go watch Raavan burn down to ashes, which was very exciting at that point in time."
"I believe that bad things always have an end and that good always triumphs over evil. This festival is a celebration of truth's victory. Life is beautiful, so just remember that there are both sad and happy periods. It's a cycle and you must keep going and never give up! Here's wishing everyone a very Happy Dussehra," said the actor, sharing his best wishes and revealing the importance of this festival.