Aparshakti Khurana, actor
How I will spend Holi this year: Considering the pandemic isn’t over yet, I am planning to play an even safer Holi this year. I will be indoors catching up with family and maybe a couple of close friends. I love Indian festivals and it’s heart-breaking to not experience them to their fullest. But it’s also the need of the hour. So, yes, I have come to terms with this change for my own safety and that of others as well. Holi is incomplete without gujias. Other than that, it’s our family ritual to make pakwans such as pakoras, dahi vada/ dahi bhalla.
Favourite childhood memory: Holi celebrations during the good old childhood days were the best. My friends and I would borrow cars from our fathers and have one dholwala in each car and indulge in what Chandigarh boys do the best — giddha (popular Punjabi dance)!
Pankaj Tripathi, actor
How I will spend Holi this year: We will be indoors and avoid social gatherings. However, there will be a celebration at home with family members. Festivals involve social gatherings, but this virus has restricted us and we have to follow Covid protocols and social distancing. For Holi, we make a popular Bihari sweet called Pua. My father-in-law is staying with us in Mumbai this year, so we will make this sweet at home.
Favourite childhood memory: During Holi, everyone in the village would get together, sing songs and visit each other’s homes. The night before Rang Panchami, there would be Holika Dahan.
Daler Mehndi, singer
How I will spend Holi this year: I am a very private person. I celebrate festivals like Holi and Diwali with family and close friends. Holi at my home is played with rose and marigold petals. My youngest daughter, Rabab, is relentlessly trying to make me understand the importance of playing Holi with colours, pichkari and water balloons. This year, I wish for all to stay home, bond with their families, eat gujia and drink kanji. I have never stepped out on Holi and don’t intend to make changes to that rule. We host celebrations, which revolve around white clothes, amazing fragrance of ittars of rose, amber, jasmine and oud (dhoop), and scrumptious food. Family members join in for lunch with the menu being mutton biryani made by my wife and mutton made by me. It’s either gurbani or Sufi music that forms the backdrop of the celebrations.
Favourite childhood memory: My earliest memories of Holi are of Takht Sri Harmandir Ji Patna Sahib, Bihar. Amidst the background of soulful keertan, incessant langar, fragrance and flowers, as kids we would play water holi during the day, and in the evening change into crisp white clothes and play with the ceremonial pink gulal. I have fond memories of Hola Mohalla being celebrated at the Gurdwara Sahab.
Rubina Dilaik, actor
How I will spend Holi this year: Holi used to be all about friends, music and dancing. Not this year, though. There won’t be a huge gathering, but a private affair, maybe with just my husband Abhinav [Shukla], mom and I at home. Safety and health first, I say!
Favourite childhood memory: In my hometown in Shimla, Shivaratri and Holi are big events and food, mithai and thandhai are major components of the festival. When mama or my mother-in-law is around they make a special lunch and mithai.
Bharti Singh, TV host and comedian
How I will spend Holi this year: Last year, celebration was about pool parties, going to a resort, etc. But, this year, due to Covid, Holi is going to be different. Every day we hear about an increase in the number of cases. It doesn’t matter if we don’t celebrate Holi this year, as we will get to celebrate it in the coming years. Right now, we need take precautions, avoid crowds and celebrate at home with our families, and next year, hopefully, we will get to enjoy it with everyone. Also, festivals are about food, and for Holi we make halwa. My husband, Harsh [Limbachiyaa] and I are not fond of sweets, so we do not order any.
Favourite childhood memory: I have several funny and happy childhood memories of Holi. And, this year we will be at home and relive all our childhood memories, and make plans for a fun-filled Holi with everyone next year.
Rakhi Sawant, dancer and actor
How I will spend Holi this year: Last year, during Holi some people were causal about Covid. This year, I request people to use sanitiser after playing Holi. I will use sanitiser instead of colour in my pichkari. I feel we should have get-togethers in our homes, I know children won’t listen. I will follow all the rules laid down by the government, and play damdaar Holi next year.
Favourite childhood memory: I stayed in a chawl where people would drink bhang. We would make malpuas, alu sabzi and puris, and I would look forward to savouring great food from our neighbours. I first had a taste of bhang after entering the film industry. I remember a Holi party where I drank bhang and kept on laughing and gobbled 20 samosas!
Karishma Tanna, actor
How I will spend Holi this year: I’m not planning to celebrate Holi as I’m not very fond of it; I don’t like my face and hair being smeared with colours. I am happy with a gulal colour tikka on my forehead. I’m not attending any Holi parties. It’s going to be just my mother and some close friends. If I step out, it will only be to go to my friend’s terrace.
Favourite childhood memory: I don’t have any childhood memories of Holi barring one: My dad would fill balloons with water, and I would throw them on passersby.
Neil Bhatt, actor
How I will spend Holi this year: I hope I get to shoot a Holi sequence in my show. Otherwise, I don’t really celebrate Holi, because people waste a lot of water. As a shagun, I apply a little gulal to my family members, and we enjoy some home-cooked meal and sweets.
Favourite childhood memory: As a kid, I played Holi with my friends. We would clog all the drains of the terrace and play with the water that would accumulate. Then we would gorge on pani puris and dosas at the counters that were put up.
Aishwarya Sakhuja, actor
How I will spend Holi this year: I am planning to celebrate Holi exactly the way I had celebrated last year: Sit at home and watch TV! I will avoid playing Holi because of Covid. In my heart, I have not reconciled with the idea. I'm still upset that I won’t be able to play Holi the way I have been all these years. It makes me angry, but then we don't have a choice.
Favourite childhood memory: Holi was celebrated at my maternal grandparents’ house. I would spend a sleepless night in excitement. We would wake up at five in the morning to fill balloons with water, and throw them on cars and unsuspecting pedestrians. I outgrew the idea of throwing water-filled balloons when I realised that it could physically hurt those at the receiving end. My mother and my nani would make gujia. This year, I’m planning to make money if I’m shooting, and sleep if I’m not.
Aishwarya Sharma, actor
How I will spend Holi this year: It will be different this year because of Covid. I will be with my family and close friends. I don’t play Holi now because my skin has become sensitive. Keeping the pandemic in mind, I feel people should celebrate Holi at home.
Favourite childhood memory: Childhood memories are beautiful... I miss those days. I would arrange the colours, pichkaris and water balloons a day before Rang Panchami. I would douse people with water, and holler, ‘Bura na mano Holi hai’. My mother would make various types of potato, banana and onion pakoras, and also shakkar parra on Holi, and I gorge on them.