As festive fever grips Bengal ahead of Durga Puja, stars are all set to enjoy the vibes of ‘pujo’. But how do celebs enjoy the five days of festivity? Shantanu Mukherjee, our very own Shaan shares his Pujo story.
Sensational singer-composer of B-town, Shaan was in Kolkata shooting for his puja song in the exquisite location of Burdwan Rajbari. In a candid conversation with The Statesman, he poured out his heart talking about Puja plans, fond memories, pujor prem, and much more.
1. Shaan da, we all look forward to this festive season and artists in Mumbai to hosting Durga Puja with great endeavors. How do you spend your Puja days?
I stay busy, mostly doing shows in Bombay but yes there are people like Abhijit Da who host Durga Puja with a great pomp. Mukherjee Bari’s puja is very popular and this year Sanu da is also organizing puja and they all want me to attend. You can understand, being a Bengali, living in Bombay I can’t miss the Bangali barir pujo there. So, I try to visit them all, Durga Puja has always been an extravagant affair in Mumbai as well.
2. Have you ever stayed in Kolkata during the festive time?
Everyone says if you haven’t seen Kolkata’s puja you have missed something big in life. But I have never got a chance to witness that, sadly I have never been in Kolkata during pujas. Every year I make plans but ultimately get busy with shows in Mumbai. Now I have made up my mind that next year I’ll be in the city for sure enjoying the puja vibes here.
3. So this year what are your Puja plans?
I don’t have plans as such and will be staying in Mumbai doing shows. Yes, I am going to Vaishno Devi for a day. I thought Durga puja and Navaratri would be the best time to go and seek blessings from Mata Vaishno Devi.
4. What’s your fondest puja memory?
Because of the big rush and hectic schedule, I don’t get much time to celebrate rather I get stressed out. Various organisers call me here and there and due to the heavy traffic, reaching so many spots on time becomes a big deal during the puja days. We are completely packed with work and shows during these five days. But if you talk about good memories, they all are associated with my mother.
5. How the Puja days now are different from the ones you experienced as a child?
As I said my Puja would always center around my mother. I would take her to pandals for offering Ashtami’s Anjali, but it won’t happen this time. We lost her in January this year, but Ma will always remain in my heart. I know she is with me. This year my Puja will be very different because she’s not there. I will miss her a lot.
6. This year you have come up with an energetic festive song to double up the Puja spirit and that’s going to release in both Bengali and Hindi versions. Tell me a bit about it.
I wanted to make a peppy song to add to the festive playlist, not just for Durga Puja but people can groove to it on all festive occasions. I came up with this song ‘Kadam Tolay Ke’, it has a very fun vibe. Basically, it’s a story of two designers, the boy with very conventional and the girl with modern approaches. They are hired to decorate a Rajbari ahead of the festival and there begins a fun banter between them.
7. The song features you along with Trina Saha and we will get to see you matching steps with the peppy beats. How much you enjoyed dancing to it?
Though I am very bad at it still managed to match the vibe and Trina was amazing as always.
8. Puja means prem. Have you ever experienced Pujor prem in your college days? Or tried to impress anyone?
Never got the chance to do so. Actually, from a very young age, I was into singing and at that time I would always think of how to earn my living. Then after taking up this as a profession, shows started coming in and it continues even today. I hardly get any time to enjoy myself.
9. Festivals are all about relishing good food over a good chat. What remains in your Puja special food menu?
Oh, I am a big foodie, and I don’t give a miss to any chances of relishing on dishes and of course, there remains pujor bhog.