News & Interviews

What Diwali Means To Me This Year: Bollywood’s Weighty Voices Speak

Lata MangeshkarHar dil aur ghar mein roshni yehi meri Diwali kishubhkamnayen hain(light in ever heart and every home that’s my wish for this Diwali). Ishwar Kare Bhartiya logon ke dil se nafrat,krodh, ahankaar aur vaasna baahar ho jaye(God willing. Indians would eliminate hatred, anger, pride and lust from their hearts). This Diwali I  wish people would not spend money on  firecrackers and lavish parties and instead give money to those who cannot afford a proper Diwali.”

Shabana Azmi: “We had a warm lovely party last night where all our colleagues and family broke bread together.No events manager is ever employed  for the  get-togethers we have at home. All the food was cooked at home. My brother Baba is almost fanatical about this because my mother’s kitchen was legendary and he wants to retain that tradition. I’m sure Abba(father poet Kaifi Azmi) must be happy.Diwali celebrations along with Holi and Eid Xmas were started by my father Kaifi Saab at my parents’ residence in  Janki Kutir. After he passed away this is the first time we re-started it this year. We have had outstanding poets and artists from Begum Akhtar , Faiz AhmedFaiz ,Firaq Gorakhpuri ,  Josh Malihabadi  to struggling newcomers like Shekhar Kapur and Anil Kapoor,  directors like Guru Dutt ,Chetan Anand  artists like M.F Hussain ,Jatin Das for Diwali at  my parents’  Diwali  get-togethers at Janki Kutir . Restoring my parents’ tiny cottage  to its former glory is my brother Baba Azmi’s great mission in life.”

Shatrughan Sinha: “To see every political party get together for one agenda, one goal, namely the empowerment of  the poor …this is my Diwali wish. I also want my Bihar’s  Chief Minister Nitish  Kumarjito join hands with our dynamic  prime  minister the real action hero  for some  truly serious  progress and development in Bihar. I also wish some  of our veteran leaders  in the BJP like L K Advaniji would be honoured and recognized for the role they’ve played in the growth and power the BJP. That apart, I want the light of enlightenment to fall on all those politicians who want to divide the  country on the basis of community and religion.”

Sanjay Leela Bhansali: “I pray for a tolerant more accommodating  and inclusive India this Diwali. I pray for  every Indian’s right to think feel and say what he wants without fear or inhibition. Personally I’ve lost someone close to me. So  I am not celebrating Diwali.”

Hema Malini: “Diwali is  my favourite festival. It means being with my family, dressing up in beautiful new clothes, making rangolis and eating mithai. And there is no greater  joy for me than spending time with my children and grandson. My elder daughter Esha is expecting her first  child.So this Diwali I wish  a little Laxmi to come  into our home. I wish not a single home in our country would go without light this Diwali.”

Prasoon Joshi: “Diwali gives us an opportunity to catch up with relationships which might not have got their fair share of light in the whole year so it’s time to light up those less visited corners of your heart and life.”

Asha Parekh: “My Diwali spirit is  dampened by the closure  of the my no-profit hospital for the poor.We tried to keep it going as long as we could. My concern for the healthcare of  the poor is constantly preying on  my mind. This Diwali I wish no financially challenged Indian would die due to medical neglect.”

Khushboo: “We have a very low key celebration as we lost a family member recently.But we have always believed in bringing in more lights as I lit up my home and my interiors with lot of lights and a bit of bling decor… gold maroon  and green dominate.”

Pritish Nandy: “This Diwali I am travelling  to a beautiful place  where I’ve never been  nor of going. In  the process I am discovering myself.”

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