Rao and Mouni Roy kick-start Navratri celebrations

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Mumbai: The trailer of Made In China gives a glimpse into the world of a Gujarati businessman from Ahmedabad, whose life changes after a trip to China. Given its theme, the film has several elements that highlight the culture of Gujarat, including redux versions of two garba numbers — Sanedo and Odhani. On occasion of Navratri, Mouni Roy and Rajkummar Rao, talk about how they celebrate the festival.

“Navratri is celebrated across the country in different ways. Call her Maa Durga or Ambe, she is the Mother we worship. As children, Durga Puja was very special — pandals, onjoli, dancing, enjoying some amazing food, hanging out with friends and wearing new clothes… When I was studying in Delhi, I would go back home (Kolkata) to be with my parents during the festival. When I came to Mumbai, I was introduced to Navratri celebrations and garba outings. I see the same enthusiasm here, too — dandiya raas, garba, colourful clothes, young and happy faces, and some fabulous music.”

She adds, “When my father was alive, I would leave Mumbai and head back home for Pujo, but now, my mother comes over and stays with me. I try and make time for onjolion Maha-Ashtami and the other days, too.”

On his part, Rajkummar has grown up celebrating Navratri in a different way. He says, “I grew up in Gurugram, and over there, Navratri was about pooja-path and fasting, and watching Ram Leela being performed by local actors. I used to observe the fast with my mother on all the nine days. I do that even now, though I can’t continue for all the nine days. At that time, I saw garba only in films. During my years in the Film and Television Institute, we used to celebrate all the festivals. I had a Bengali friend with whom I would visit Durga Puja pandals. I’ve also been to many garba-dandiya pandals, where I’ve always felt a high energy among people. The same festival is celebrated differently across India and everything co-exists. That’s the beauty of a country like ours.”

It’s known that both Mouni and Rajkummar have the knack to pick up dance moves easily. Ask if they had a chance to do some garba raas in Made In China, and Mouni replies, “I don’t know how to do garba all that well. I can manage the steps, but every dance form has its own flair and bounce. I had to work hard to get that right. In the film, we don’t have an outright garba song, but it’s a wonderful dance number.”

Admitting that he loves dancing, Rajkummar shares, “I enjoy dancing and garba is among my favourite dance forms. It’s so synchronised and beautiful to look at. In fact, I love dancing so much that I have danced in random baraats with people I don’t know. Uske baad kai baar jaake shaadiyon mein khaana bhi khaya hai. During my years in Gurugram, I was part of a dance group and have performed Bhangra, Odissi, Haryanvi and Rajasthani folk dance forms. It’s something that makes me very happy.”

Produced by Maddock Films in association with Jio Studios, the film is directed by Mikhil Musale and also also stars Bomman Irani, Sumeet Vyas, Paresh Rawal and Gajraj Rao. The film is set to release this Diwali

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