Diwali was Ranbir’s and my most favourite festival: Riddhima Kapoor Sahni

Riddhima Kapoor Sahni tells Nichola Pais about memorable festive moments spent with her family

The Kapoor family, often called the Hindi film industry’s first family, goes back a long way, to the time Prithviraj Kapoor moved from Lyallpur (British India) to Bombay, to pursue a career in theatre and silent films of the 1930s. Generations of his progeny continue to leave their mark in the annals of Hindi cinema. Along with their genetic brilliance for both filmmaking and acting, the Kapoors are also renowned for their party-hearty ways. Large-hearted Punjabis, life is a celebration for this large family, while festivals naturally see the excitement reach new highs… the famed Holi bashes at Raj Kapoor’s Chembur cottage were the stuff of legends!

The year 2018 has brought with it its share of shadows… beloved matriarch Krishna Raj Kapoor passed away this October at the age of 87, the sprawling family-owned RK Studio is set to be sold, and more disturbingly, Rishi Kapoor had to fly to New York for medical attention. Yet Diwali brings with it the flame of hope, as traditions and rituals reinforce bonds of happiness and reawaken fond memories, like it does in Neetu and Rishi Kapoor’s beautiful jewellery designer daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni…

“My earliest memories would be celebrating Diwali with my immediate family – namely my mum, dad, brother and grandmother – at home. We would have the Lakshmi puja and then go for dinner with the rest of the family to my grandparents’ home in Chembur. We used to spend a lot of our Diwali vacation time there, in fact.
Diwali meant Lakshmi puja, Rangoli, lighting diyas, and buying new clothes. We used to donate sweets and clothes to an orphanage in Mumbai and continue doing so on birthdays and festivals.

Like all other kids, Diwali was our most favourite festival for Ranbir and me. We did burst firecrackers back in the day but now we are more environment conscious. Mithai – pedhas and gulab jamun our favourite even today – remains consistent.
Everyone these days has a busy hectic schedule. Festivals bring the family together. I love the fact that everyone is in festive mode – stepping out in their best attire and just being happy celebrating together. I love fashion and personally I enjoy seeing everyone dress up in their finest.

When it comes to Diwali dressing, I keep it minimal; I don’t go over the top. A sari and a statement piece does it for me.
In Delhi, Lakshmi puja is a must-do for all of us at home followed by a family dinner. As a rule, we don’t burst crackers. My eight-year-old is also very conscious now and wants to have a smoke- and noise-free Diwali. I pass down the tradition of lighting a diya on Diwali, to my little daughter. I also emphasise on Lakshmi puja and on trying to have a smoke- and noise-free Diwali. My message to all is ‘Say NO to crackers’. You don’t need them to have a Happy Diwali!”

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