During normal times, the three Khan superstars Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir celebrate every major religious festival in India, be it Diwali, Eid, Christmas or Holi with equal enthusiasm.
During Eid Salman’s home Galaxy Apartment is the brightest in Mumbai. It’s an open house at Salman’s on Eid with guests of every religious order streaming in throughout the day to savour the delicacies that Salman’s mother and the cooks whip up in the constantly-active kitchen.
Food flows. So does good conversation.
Producer Sajid Nadiadwala who is a very close friend of Salman says Salman’s home turns into a zero-intolerance zone. “Everyone forgets everything except how to have a good time. The atmosphere in Salman’s house is so conducive to warmth and affection nobody thinks of himself as Hindu or Muslim.”
In any case when has Bollywood ever been divided communally?
Says Shabana Azmi, “My parents (poet Kaifi Azmi and actress Shaukat Azmi) entertained at our home without prejudice. My sister-in-law Tanve is a Hindu and she celebrates Eid with unconditional joy. Javed and I are equally enthused by Eid and Holi. Friends are called over, bonhomie flows. It’s a time when everybody feels so much love. There is singing dancing and lots and lots of good food. There is no difference between Holi and Eid. Festivity is identity-free.”
Veteran actress Zarina Wahab doesn’t celebrate Eid at home. “Because I am married into a Hindu family and there isn’t much happening during Eid in my own home. So I rush to my sister’s place during Eid. It’s the one time of the year when I indulge myself freely in the food that I like to cook for all my friends throughout the year.”
Alia Bhatt whose mom is Muslim says she enjoys the festive food the most. “The delicacies are to die for. What I enjoy about any festival is the food. Even the most basic food tastes special during Eid.”
The legendary Waheeda Rehman is not much into Eid celebration anymore. “The children have grown up. They’ve their own lives. It’s not like Christmas in the West where the entire family gathers to celebrate. That enthusiasm from the earlier times is missing now.”
Sanjay Dutt’s parents shared a beautiful Hindu-Muslim alliance where neither ever spoke about religion as a divisive weapon. This is the kind of upbringing and belief Dutt wants to instill into his twin children.