Baisakhi special| Guneet Monga: This Baisakhi is extra special because I am married, and have an Oscar
Oscar winning producer Guneet Monga spills the beans on celebrating Baisakhi, and her memories associated with the festival.
It’s Baisakhi today, and for Guneet Monga, the festival is extra special this time. Reason: the two milestones that the producer has achieved on the work and personal fronts over the last few months — getting married and winning an Oscar. She is looking forward to celebrating her first Sikh New Year after marriage with her husband, entrepreneur Sunny Kapoor, in Delhi. “This Baisakhi is extra special as I am married and have an Oscar. I also have my parents this time (referring to her in-laws). I lost my parents very early in life. So, I am looking forward to my mother-in-law feeding me the amazing things she cooks,” says Monga.
Besides “looking forward to going to the gurdwara, listening to shabads and paying my gratitude” today, the producer will also try her hand at cooking. “I make the best kada prasad,” she exclaims.
Talking about her Baisakhi rituals, Monga, who won an Academy Award for The Elephant Whisperers (2022), adds, “Baisakhi has always been all about going to the gurdwara. I would go to Bangla Sahib (a gurdwara in Delhi). Even if I wasn’t home on Baisakhi, I would manage to find a gurdwara wherever I was. I remember I was in Goa once and while all my friends were partying, I was like, ‘Mujhe gurdwara jaana hai’.”
Harking back to her childhood, she recalls how her parents would go all out in doing sewa on Baisakhi. “They taught me all the things I do on the day of the festival. From having langar to making phirni at home — we kept the rituals quite simple. The idea of sewa was inculcated in me by my parents. I would see my parents make a lot of food or get it made by someone. Then, my dad would load all that on a truck and distribute food items like kheer, chole, samosas to people. The day is all about gratitude,” Monga ends.