Even though Radhika Apte has been living away from her Pune home for many years now, the actress has many fond memories of the spring-time festival -- GudhiPadwa that marks the New Year for Maharashtrian Hindus and is also celebrated as SamvatsarPadvo, Ugadi, Cheti Chand and Navreh by many different communities.
Sharing a unique memory of the fest, the Badlapuractress says, “Every house would have a gudhi and every house had a different coloured cloth tied to it. I used to really love looking at people’s balconies and windows and check out which colours they had used.”
What made the festival even more special for her is the fact that both her parents had a holiday on that day. “They used to be always busy; they still are. Because they had an off, my mother and I used to prepare the gudhi together,” says Radhika who has grown up in Pune.
GudhiPadwa is known for the different delicacies that are prepared to mark the new year. PuranPoli, Shrikhand, GulabJamun, Puri, BatatyachiBhaaji, Chana Usal figure prominently among them. PuranPoli remains Radhika’s most favourite item even today. Says she, “I don’t know if PuranPoli is specially made for GudhiPadwa. All I know is that my grandmother and mother used to make it and I relished it,” says the critically acclaimed actress.
Radhika later made Mumbai her home and is now settled in London. So does she celebrate GudhiPadwa even now? The actress says that there are no GudhiPadwa celebrations in London. “I do not celebrate GudhiPadwa or any other festival much now that I have moved houses,” she rues.
But she feels it’s really nice to celebrate GudhiPadwa as ‘it feels like a new year has begun and subconsciously there’s fresh energy within’.
What according to her is the best way to begin the New Year? “At this point, it’s to stay safe and help people who need help. Even if you are worried for yourself, you need to distance yourself from other people for their own safety and health. Working as a community and society is very important,” she advises.
For those who are sad over the restriction on movement, Radhika adds that this time, we should celebrate the festival by being with our family and loved ones. “And cherish these moments because once the situation is over, everybody will get busy and we won’t have time for each other,” she points out.