Let’s face it, Diwali celebrations are not complete until we see the internet flooded with paparazzi and Instagram pictures of Bollywood celebrities shimmying under the lights in their best ethnic outfits at their glitziest shindigs. What makes it so exciting is that these gatherings feel like the Bollywood version of a Disney crossover episode, with all our favourite fictional characters reuniting under one roof. Even hardened cynics cannot deny there is something thrilling about the idea of a crossover episode between various cult classic movies and TV shows, armed with a promise of combining forces in a larger imaginary world.
As the festival of lights is inching closer, we can’t help but reminisce about the iconic Diwali parties that were hosted every year by stars including Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar and Salman Khan before COVID-19 put a damper on everything. Many Bollywood biggies such as Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and the likes would be seen party-hopping from Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat to Manish Malhotra’s intimate Diwali dinner and Ekta Kapoor’s bash to the Bachchans’ grand event at Jalsa to keep up the annual tradition. These events were a great way for the movie industry insiders to network, catch up and let loose after a (presumably) hectic year of making movies and working round the clock.
So, before we write off tinsel town’s Diwali parties as a thing of the past, let’s revisit the bygone era of signature Bollywood bashes—famed for their juicy tête-à-têtes, lavish venues, glamorous outfits and hushed relationship conspiracies. With a glimmering ray of hope that the events return to their pre-covid fervour and glory this year, read on to walk down memory lane.
Shah Rukh Khan’s bash at Mannat
Who can forget the grand parties hosted by superstar Shah Rukh Khan at his home Mannat? Every year, A-list Bollywood celebrities vie to cop an invitation to SRK’s Diwali bash and put their best stylish foot forward for the same. One of Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan’s most memorable celebrations is the Diwali party they hosted in 2018, with friends and colleagues including Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha, Jacqueline Fernandez and Kajol in attendance. Gauri donned the hat of an interior designer and decorated their house with hundreds of lamps and posted beautiful pictures with her family on Instagram. The snapshot of Shah Rukh and Kajol embracing even went viral thanks to ardent fans of the Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge duo.
Ekta Kapoor’s TV industry gathering
The TV industry giant, Ekta Kapoor, well-known for her production house Balaji Telefilms and Balaji Motion Pictures and the addictive content she produces, hosts one of the biggest parties for her friends and colleagues working in TV. Ekta’s parties warrant the attendance of TV industry biggies including Mouni Roy, Hina Khan, Mrunal Thakur, Anita Hassanandani, Urvashi Dholakia, Sanaya Irani and many other lead actors from her long-standing television shows.
Karan Johar’s cosy club
It is almost Karan Johar’s ‘dharma’ to throw some of the flashiest yet private parties for his Bollywood favourites. No one can deny that the devil works hard, but Karan Johar works harder—all while celebrating Diwali and promoting his upcoming movies in one go. In 2019, the producer invited all the young and fresh new stars of Bollywood including Sara Ali Khan, Janhvi Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Kartik Aaryan among others for a special Diwali photoshoot. Adorned in the brightest pinks and yellows, the Diwali posts were surely a treat to look at.
Amitabh Bachchan’s elusive party
Veteran superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family’s Diwali parties are the hottest place to be for Bollywood bigwigs. Giving even the Oscars red carpet a run for its money, the glittering guest list covers noteworthy names from not just the world of movies, but also cricket, politics and business. The party thrown in 2019 was an extravagant affair with stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Shahid Kapoor, Mira Rajput, Akshay Kumar, Twinkle Khanna, Katrina Kaif, Kriti Sanon, Bhumi Pednekar, Rajkumar Rao and many others gracing the event all decked up in their glamorous festive attires. In 2021, however, the Bachchans organised an intimate gathering with only their immediate family members and loved ones in attendance.
Manish Malhotra’s stylish shindig
Ace fashion designer Manish Malhotra’s Diwali parties are usually low-key events. In 2019, he celebrated the festival of lights with stars including Shilpa Shetty, Tahira Kashyap, Karan Johar, Nushrat Bharucha, Pooja Hegde among others, by gorging over delicious food and drinks and playing cards. All the attendees’ social media posts let the fans peek into the cosy yet glitzy get-together.
Arpita Khan Sharma’s star-studded gala
Arpita Khan Sharma, who is actor Salman Khan’s sister, threw a big Diwali party for the movie industry in 2018. With the whole ‘Khan-daan’ in attendance including Sohail Khan, Arbaaz Khan and Salim Khan, the event was graced by many actors such as Jacqueline Fernandez, Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Sonakshi Sinha, to name a few. The glimmering outfits worn by the guests served as inspiration for fashionistas all over the country.