Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar”>
Frankly, no one is really in a mood to celebrate Holi in a big way. The lack of enthusiasm this year has plenty to do with the way things are going for the entertainment industry.
An actor on condition of anonymity puts the situation in a nutshell. “Earlier we had grand Holi celebrations in at least 5-6 major filmy families. Now it’s dwindled to just 1 or 2 Holi bashes.”
In the past, film folks had a blast .The film industry chose to celebrate Holi either at Raj Kapoor’s Holi bash(by far the most well-attended), followed by the Bachchans’ warm open-house Holi festivities. Then there were Subhash Ghai, Yash Chopra and the Azmis, Javed and Shabana who hosted and continue to host the annual Holi bash.
But the colourful spirit of Holi went out with Raj Kapoor. The true champion of filmy Holi bashes at R.K Studios in Chembur used to be a riot of colours and festivity every Holi. The entire film industry and all their kith and kin would arrive in spotless white to be dunked into the famous RK colour tank.
Now the equations have changed drastically. Since the passing away of Raj Kapoor there’s no Holi at RK Studios any more. The family’s superstar-scion Ranbir Kapoor is busy shooting in the US . The rest of the family is no mood for Holi. Holi at the Bachchans is also expected to be a subdued close family affair with little or no shor-sharaaba.
Even Akshay Kumar who generally loves the Holi revelry is heading out of Mumbai this weekend. “Just me, my wife and son driving out of the city,” says Akshay implying there’s little joy in being home for Holi this year.
Akshay has a point. Holi ceased to be a source of fun long ago. As Shabana Azmi puts it, “The state must ensure safety and protection for women and men must make sure that the day of celebration doesn’t turn into an occasion for mourning.”
Urmila Matondkar, however, is not daunted by the safety factor. “Holi isn’t unsafe for women provided you’re cautious and play Holi with people who are known to you. In any case I’m not much into Holi , bhang and masti.”
For Shabana the Holi spirit never dies. “It’s always an open house for friends and family on the occasion of Holi at my parents’ home in Janki Kutir. There’s a generous flow of non-toxic colours, gaana-bajaana, and khaana…a long-standing tradition in our house as part of India’s ganga-jumna tehzeeb.”
However even the never-say-die Shabana is out of town this Holi.