After the untimely demise of Bollywood, Tollywood and Mollywood actress – Sridevi, a few days ago, all the big private Holi parties in Bollywood stand cancelled. Holi, the festival of colours has always been celebrated across religions in Bollywood with everyone making a splash.
Actress Shabana Azmi who has annually held her Holi party along with her writer and lyricist husband Javed Akhtar cancelled her Holi party for the first time in many years. Another big Bollywood celebrity Amitabh Bachhcan who also used to hold high profile Holi parties in one of his four bungalows cancelled his Holi party as well on March 2. Bachchan who has been the face and sometimes the voice as well for famous Holi songs like Rang Barse from the Yash Chopra film Silsila, Holi Khele Raghuveera from the Ravi Chopra film Baghban and the famous Holi Ke Din song from Sholay always has these songs played throughout the day when the celebrations are on.
In 2009, in the wake of terror attacks on the city of Mumbai, Bachchan family gave the festival of Holi. Amitabh on his blog then wrote, “In the wake of the terror attacks, somewhere inside us, there is a reluctance to involve ourselves in any kind of exhibition.” It also has been noticed that Amitabh also stopped playing the Holi festival with much pomp and show after the demise of his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan and mother Teji Bachchan.
The biggest Holi celebrations long ago used to be at Ranbir and Kareena Kapoor’s grandfather, the legendary Raj Kapoor’s house. “But ever since his health started deteriorating, we stopped the Holi celebrations,” reveals a Kapoor family member. Other than members of the Kapoor family including Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor and others, the event marked the strengthening of relationship of the Bollywood film fraternity.
The celebration included directors like Manmohan Desai, actors like Dilip Kumar, singers like Mukesh, composers like Shankar Jaikishan, to name a few. Holi at RK Studios used to be the talk of the town. It is believed that people were welcomed in the RK studio with buckets of coloured water and were plunged in the pool filled with coloured water.
The festival continued till late noon with people soaked in vibrant colours, lost in the world of singing and dancing. The enthusiasm was there even during the 80s, when most of the celebrities who were contemporaries of Raj Kapoor became old.
Raj Kapoor himself stopped playing it in the late 80s as he started having physical discomfort while playing Holi. He had asthma and the contact of colours basically aggravated the disease. The prestigious celebration of Holi stopped after 1988, after the death of Raj Kapoor.
After Raj Kapoor, the other famous B-town Celebrities who come close to celebrating Holi in an extravagant and sumptuous manner are Amitabh Bachchan and Subhash Ghai, who are known for organising Holi get together at their homes. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai is known for organizing Holi celebration at his Madh Island bungalow. It was a popular affair, especially in the 80’s as film stars joined in to enjoy the event.
However, some ticketed Holi parties which have been promoted through advertisements and billboards will continue to happen.