Today is Baisakhi and this time the festival is special for Guneet Monga. Reason: Two milestones that the producer has achieved in the past few months on the work and personal fronts – 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 because I am married and I have an Oscar. This time my parents are also there (referring to her in-laws). I lost my parents very early in life. So, I look forward to feeding my mother-in-law the wonderful things she cooks,” says Monga.
Today apart from “visiting Gurudwara, listening to Shabad and expressing gratitude”, the makers will also try their hand at cooking. “I make the best Kada Prasad,” she says.
Talking about her Baisakhi rituals, Monga, who won an Academy Award for The Elephant Whispers (2022), says, “Baisakhi has always been about visiting a gurudwara. I will go to Bangla Sahib (a gurudwara in Delhi). Even if I was not home on Baisakhi, I would have found a Gurudwara wherever I was. I remember once I was in Goa and when all my friends were partying, I thought, ‘I have to go to the gurudwara’.
Looking back on her childhood, she recalls how her parents used to go out of their way to serve on Baisakhi. “He taught me everything I do on the feast day. From eating langar to making phirni at home – we kept the rituals very simple. The idea of service was instilled in me by my parents. I used to see that my parents cook a lot of food or get it done by someone. Then, my father would load all that on a truck and distribute food items like kheer, chole, samosas to the people. The day is about gratitude,” ends Monga.