Monday, January 21, 2008

Deepika at Siddhivinayak

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Deepika with her father Prakash Padukone (TOI Photo) More pics
Tuesday, January 1, was pandemonium at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi.

Naturally, the start of the new year falling on a Tuesday could not have been a more auspicious occasion for devotees of Lord Ganesh at this popular shrine.

That is why Deepika Padukone chose to come on Wednesday. Accompanied by father, former badminton champion Prakash Padukone, mother Ujjala and sister Anisha, Bollywood’s new sensation slipped into the temple quietly and sought the deity’s blessings.

She was leaving for Australia early in the new year to begin shooting with Ranbir Kapoor for a Yashraj film to be directed by Siddharth Anand. And she had another film with Akshay Kumar to look forward to.

If 2007 had been kind to her, Deepika was especially keen that the trend continued in 2008, that is why she was praying to Lord Ganesh at Siddhivinayak. The girl is also celebrating her birthday on the 5th of this month.

The Padukones had always wanted to come here, but somehow could never make it together. The new year presented the opportunity and the reason. The temple’s trustees, delighted with their celebrity devotee, informed the family that Siddhivinayak drew a lot of the Bollywood crowd, especially on Tuesdays.

But the media always got wind of their presence and created a frenzy, the trustees added. The last time this happened, was in November, when Madhuri Dixit visited Siddhivinayak.

That is when Ujjala Padukone, who is a shy and soft-spoken woman, interrupted to say that if her husband, the stoic and reticent Prakash, had been around that day... he would have outdone the media! “He is a big Madhuri Dixit fan,” added Ujjala smiling, “but has unfortunately not met the actress as yet.”

Perhaps, with Lord Ganesh’s blessings and daughter Deepika’s intervention, Papa Prakash’s dream might come true as well this year.

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