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Thursday, March 16, 2006
If one asks which is the most popular Holi song, without a waste of a brain cell you will simply sing the festive 'Rang Barse' picturized on the immortal Amitabh Bachchan from the film Silsila. Amitabh has always been associated with Holi in a number of ways. We might recall his song 'Holi Khel Raguveera' in Baghban or 'Holi Ke Din Mil Jaate Hain' from Sholay or even the popular one 'Let's Play Holi' in Waqt - The Race Against Time. Though picturized on Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra, it was an Amitabh film all the way.
Of course, his association with Holi doesn't end just there. The Bachchans are known to throw the best Holi bashes in town at their bungalow Prateeksha in Juhu. It's just a sparkling affair to remember for all the guests. We can see Abhishek Bachchan personally greeting everyone with the traditional tikka and gulal. Thousands of uninvited fans dance outside the bungalow to the tunes of the music inside and Amitabh doesn't disappoint them by not letting them go empty handed and constantly sends them bhajiyas - the traditional food of Holi. Inside, Jaya Bachchan would no doubt prove to be a wonderful host.
So when did this tradition actually begin? It all started at his rented place called Mangal on 7th road where Anil Kapoor stays now. But there was no Anil Kapoor at that time and there were no houses there. It was a small party, but as they say all great things begins small. Then Bachchan Sr. became a legend almost overnight and that was when he moved to Prateeksha.
Before the Bachchans, Holi festivity came into the limelight with the Raj Kapoor party at R.K Studios at Chembur. That used to be the most happening Holi bash. However, sons Rishi, Randhir and Rajeev discontinued it after the demise of the legend in 1988. It was said that Raj Kapoor used to suffer from Asthma and the color powder could have proved to be a problem to his health. However he insisted on celebrating the festival as it was part of their tradition.
Back to the Bachchans. Their party has no dearth of guests. Everyone related to Bollywood and non-Bollywood are specially invited, media included. States Karan Johar, "I want to have my cake and eat it too! Abhishek, Hrithik, Aditya (Chopra), Uday (Chopra) and I, have spent almost all our Holis together with Amit uncle and Jaya aunty. One of my most memorable Holi was when there were a lot of dhols playing when suddenly Amit uncle and Govinda took centre stage and started dancing in tandem. Needless to add, all eyes were on them. It was such good fun."
Inside, there is no dearth of all the Holi essentials like color, definitely pichkaaris- the size of bazookas and without doubt bhang. They say there is no smoke without fire and there is no Bachchan Holi bash without bhang totally bringing out the flavor of the festival.
Bachchan Related Holi Trivia
- On one occasion, Amitabh's daughter Shweta suffered from chicken pox and was not able to play. Luckily for her, some of her cousins too suffered from the same disease and gave her company.
- In Baghban, right after Holi Amitabh and Hema Malini go to stay with their sons for a period of 6 months. During this period, Diwali gets no mention but Valentine's Day is celebrated, after which Karwa Chauth celebrations take place. Time shift for superstars!
- One year, after the party, actor Parmeet Sethi and small time villain Mahesh Anand had a fight after the latter who was drunk tried to grope Parmeet's wife Archana Puran Singh. The news however died down quickly.
- He did not have a Holi bash in 2003 because his father, the legendary poet Harishvanshrai Bachchan passed away. Also, their party in 2005 was cancelled because the Tsunami had hit and it didn't seem appropriate for Amitabh to celebrate when one part of the country was weeping.
- Abhishek Bachchan also was picturized on a Holi song 'Koi Bheega Hai Rang Se' in Apoorva Lakhia's Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost.